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Victor C. Mitchener, Attorney

Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Can you sue your landlord for your injuries?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2021 | Premises Liability

We see it all the time. Individuals are seriously injured at their apartment complexes due to hazardous conditions on their property. Broken stairs, ice, wet floors, cracked sidewalks, and a host of other issues can be to blame. But if you’ve been injured by a dangerous property condition and you’re struggling to cope in the aftermath of your accident, then you may find yourself wondering if your landlord can be held accountable. We hope this post will provide some insight into that question.

Can your landlord be held liable for your injuries?

The answer to this question is “yes,” under certain circumstances. It’s important to recognize that apartment complexes and other rental properties have two distinct areas. The first is community property. These are areas of the premises that are used by multiple tenants. The leasing or management office of an apartment complex, stairs or elevators that service multiple units, parking lots, and hallways that lead to multiple units are considered community property. The second type of property is the leased premise, which would be each individual unit.

Premises liability in community areas

When it comes to community areas, landlords have a duty to ensure that they are reasonably safe. This means that they must routinely inspect the premises for hazardous conditions and take timely action to remedy those dangerous property conditions. When there are delays in correcting the problem, the landlord should warn tenants of the danger. A landlord’s failure to replace a broken handrail on an exterior staircase would be an example situation where a landlord may be liable for any resulting injuries.

Premises liability in leased areas

A lot of people think that they can’t hold their landlord liable if they’re injured within their own leased unit. This isn’t necessarily the case, though. While you certainly have extensive control over your unit, your landlord still has a duty to ensure that your unit is fit and habitable. This, of course, can be challenging for a landlord to do without knowledge of existing issues, which is why it’s imperative that you make your landlord aware of any dangerous conditions within our unit. In many cases, it’s only after a showing that the landlord had been put on notice and failed to act that a premises liability lawsuit in this regard will succeed.

Be aware of contributory negligence

North Carolina is one of a few states that recognizes pure contributory negligence. This means that if you are found to be at fault, even on a miniscule level, you’ll be denied compensatory recovery. Therefore, as you’re building your personal injury case you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared to address any contributory negligence claims, as they often arise in these cases. Know how you tried to avoid the hazardous condition or can articulate why it was unavoidable, and be able to paint a picture of how your landlord was put on notice of the dangerous condition as soon as you became aware of it within your unit.

We have decade’s worth of experience building personal injury cases

Premises liability cases can get complicated quickly. But there’s a lot at stake. After all, you’re probably dealing with extensive physical pain and suffering, not to mention financial loss, all while you’re trying to live as normal of a life as possible. We know that’s not easy, which is why we rely on our extensive experience litigating these kinds of cases to build the persuasive legal arguments that our clients need to best position themselves for success. If you’d like to learn more about how we go about doing that, then please continue to browse our website.