los angeles apartment complex

If you are paying rent to a landlord every month, you have rights to certain things including a safe place to live. If you or a loved one has been injured in an apartment building because those in charge of the premises did not take reasonable steps to keep it in a safe condition, you may be entitled to recover damages. The Salamati Law Firm assists individuals throughout the state of California with aggressive representation aimed at holding those liable for your injuries, financially responsible.

Can a tenant sue a landlord for injury after a slip and fall in an apartment building?

An injured tenant may bring a suit against someone who breached a duty if that breach was a proximate cause of the tenant’s injury.

Property owners owe a duty to tenants to protect tenants and others who may enter the property from defects or hazards on the premises. Owners often delegate this duty to property managers but either or both entities may be held liable for negligence. To fulfill their duty, landlords and property managers must:

  • Keep the premises in reasonably safe condition
  • Warn residents and other visitors of hazards that they are or should be aware of

Property manger and landlord liability is triggered when they breach their duty to act reasonably to fix or warn of defects on the premises.

Examples of personal injury in an apartment complex

If a tenant has made complaints to the property manager that the staircase carpet is loose, the property manager and owner may be liable when someone trips on the loose carpet. But if the carpet was recently dislodged and the landlord or property manager had no reason to know, they may not be liable.

If a tenant suffered an injured when he slipped on a liquid that he spilled from his own mug, he might not have as strong a claim against the property owner or manager. In that instance, the hazard was likely created by the person who was injured.

What kind of evidence is needed to prove landlord liability?

Key questions that will be asked to determine liability include:

  • What was the condition of the premises?
  • Who created the hazard?
  • Did the landlord have knowledge and an opportunity to repair it?

Plaintiffs who were injured within an apartment complex or building can bolster the strength of their cases by keeping:

  • Photos of the location
  • Contact information from witnesses
  • A list of tenants who could testify as to how long the unsafe condition existed
  • Copies of any notices or complaints that you or neighbors have filed with the landlord

In addition, you will need to prove that your injury was caused by the defective condition. Strong supporting evidence may include:

  • Hospital discharge papers and/or doctor summaries
  • Other medical records that speak to any pre-existing injury
  • In some cases, an expert’s testimony to prove an issue like that a part of the building was not up to code

Your lawyer may also request information from the landlord, including:

  • A list of complaints about the condition of the property
  • Contact information and schedules for employees
  • Maintenance manuals
  • Repair logs
  • Agreements between the property owner and the property manager or maintenance crews that might affect their allocation of liability

Common apartment building slip and falls

High-traffic areas lead to wear and tear of carpet, linoleum, and other surfaces. Many apartment slips, trips, and falls take place in:

  • Common area entrance
  • Staircases
  • Ramps
  • Restrooms

There are potential hazards outside apartment buildings as well, such as:

  • Pool decks
  • Uneven/ poorly maintained walkways
  • Exterior stairwells
  • Playgrounds
  • Dog parks
  • Picnic areas
  • Other common outdoor spaces on the property

Compensation for a apartment building slip and fall settlement in California

Compensation for your injuries in any slip and fall depend on a variety of factors. Most notably, these amounts relate to:

  • The amount of medical bills
  • Out of pocket costs for medication and medical equipment
  • Lost wages
  • Prognosis for recovery
  • Extent of any disability caused by injury
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

If a plaintiff was partly at fault for the fall, he or she is still permitted to pursue a claim against the landlord but the settlement or award may be reduced by the proportion of the claimant’s own negligence.

Statute of limitations for California

A personal injury claim in California must be filed within two years. If an injury victim fails to file a lawsuit within the two years, the claim  may no longer valid unless certain exceptions apply. If you were injured more than 2 years ago in a slip and fall, ask your attorney whether any such exception applies to your unique circumstances.

Why it is worth working with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney

Personal injury litigation works best with a trusted attorney on your sides. If you have been injured in a slip and fall in an apartment building, please call to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer Sean F. Salamati. We represent clients throughout the state of California and are here to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.

Additional resources for slip and falls in apartment buildings:

1. California Legislative Information, Civil Code § 1953, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=1953
2. California Courts, Statute of Limitations, http://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm