Can I Sue My Landlord for My Injuries on Their Property?
In general, property owners, landlords, and maintenance and repair staff have a responsibility to keep their property safe for employees and visitors alike. When any of these parties fails to carry out their duties and act in a responsible manner, and someone is injured as a result, that injured individual may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering through a premises liability claim.
However, when the injured party is a resident of the property where the injuries occurred, there is a much higher burden of proof necessary for yielding a successful outcome of their premises liability claim against their landlord or property owner. These increased evidentiary requirements make it that much more important that anyone injured in their own apartment building or residential complex work with an experienced Northeast Philadelphia personal injury attorney in order to gather and present a case which clearly outlines the negligence of the landlord, and also shows how the injured resident was not responsible for their accident and resulting injuries.
Bucks County Injury Lawyers and the Basis of a Premises Liability Claim
Before we discuss how premises liability claims for injuries on your own residence differ from other premises liability claims, let us first discuss the three pillars of any premises liability claim.
First and foremost, a premises liability claim will need to show that some kind of hazard existed. This can be anything from an uncovered manhole or loose flooring or steps to poor security, poor lighting, unmarked potholes, wet floors, and more.
Secondly, the injured party will need to prove that the landlord, property owner, or entity(s) in charge of the property’s maintenance either knew of the hazard’s existence and did not address it, or didn’t know of its existence but reasonably should have had they been properly performing their duties.
Finally, the injured party will need to show exactly how the hazard in question caused them injury and harm, and the extent to which their injuries have affected their lives (i.e. medical expenses, inability to work, loss of enjoyment of life etc).
Premises Liability Claims for Residents of the Property, Northeast Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
So while the above factors are the basis of any premises liability claim, if the injured party is seeking compensation for injuries which occurred in their own residential complex, apartment building, etc, several additional factors will be considered by the courts which will affect the success of the premises liability claim.
This added layer of consideration is mostly due to the fact that as a resident, the courts assume the injured party has a much greater knowledge of the property and its state of repair (or lack thereof) than a person who is simply visiting another property for whatever reason. In other words, in order for an injured tenant to hold their landlord or the owner of the property liable for their injuries and resulting damages, the following elements will also be taken into consideration:
- The injured resident’s prior knowledge of the hazard.
- Whether or not the injured resident informed the landlord or property manager of the existence of the safety hazard in question.
- The extent of the injured resident’s own responsibility for avoiding and/or repairing the hazard.
So for example, if the injured resident knew of the hazard, but never informed their landlord or property manager of its existence, their premises liability claim may be unsuccessful. Or, if some part of the lease or rental agreement states that the resident is responsible for the maintenance of the hazard which caused their injury (a broken doorstep for example), chances are a court will not find the property owner or landlord liable for the injuries caused.
Contact Our Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorneys Today for a Free and Confidential Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured on a poorly maintained or dangerous property of any kind, be it your apartment building, the apartment building of a friend, a commercial store or parking lot, or even on public property such as a park or a government office, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney in order to better understand your options for securing a recovery, and to successfully navigate the entire premises liability claims process.
At Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients and their families to recover full and fair compensation in personal injury claims of all kinds in towns across Pennsylvania, Bucks County, and the greater Northeast Philadelphia area. Practicing law since 1972, our firm has developed a well-deserved reputation for tenacious and effective service among insurance companies and the community alike, and we are prepared to put these qualities and more to work for you today.
To speak with our team in a free and confidential consultation regarding your injuries, your options for making a recovery, and how exactly we can help you to do so, please contact us online, or through our Northeast Philadelphia, PA office at (215) 337-4915.