Can a Tenant Sue a Landlord For Falling Down the Stairs?
Trip-and-Fall Accidents Cause Big Injuries Every Year — Can a Tenant Sue a Landlord for Falling Down the Stairs?
If you suffered an accident on a stairway where you live, you are probably wondering if a . Are your injuries enough to prove your case, or will you have to prove things in court? Here's everything you need to know.
If you are renting an apartment or house, and you slip and fall either inside or outside, is your landlord liable for your pain and suffering? The answer depends on why and where you fell. If you can prove that your landlord was aware of a stairs hazard but did nothing to eradicate the problem, they may indeed be held liable. In that case, a tenant can sue a landlord for falling down the stairs.
Landlord Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
For , one or more of the following three things must be true:
|Dangerous Conditions, AND||Dangerous conditions could include:
|Lack of Knowledge, OR||The landlord should have been aware of the hazardous surface due to the fact that a "reasonable" person maintaining the property would have discovered and repaired it.|
|Lack of Repairs||The landlord was aware of the dangerous surface but did nothing to correct it.|
If you sue your landlord for falling on the stairs, their insurance company — or the court, if you go there — will carefully consider whether your own negligence or carelessness contributed to the accident. The "rules of comparative negligence" are in place to measure your reasonableness or carelessness in using the stairs at the time you fell.
What to Do if You Fall Down Stairs on a Rental Property
Nolo recommends that anyone who trips and falls, whether inside an apartment or in a common area, should take pictures as soon as possible after the accident. Visually document:
- Accident scene conditions at the time of the fall
- Torn clothes
- Skinned knees
- Other aftermath images that may help you win your case
Be sure to take pictures of any hazard that may have contributed to your fall, as well. Look for and document these things such as slippery surfaces and worn or torn stair runners, icy or wet outside stairs, building code violations such as no handrail or uneven stair heights.
A common stair hazard is a worn carpet on the part of a stair where your foot lands. A slightly worn carpet may actually be more perilous than an obviously worn stair rug because people using the steps are not apt to notice the danger.
Stairs that are made of highly polished wood or tile can be more slippery than carpet or painted wood. If you fall down highly polished wood stairs, the landlord might be held liable for sacrificing safety for good looks.
Outdoor stairs are required to be built and maintained in such a way as to avoid excessive moisture buildup. Stairs in areas that tend to become snowy or icy should have anti-slip surfaces. If they do not, and your fall down stairs, the landlord may be held liable for slip-and-fall accidents.
If you tripped or slipped and fell downstairs, notify your landlord immediately. If they offer to pay for your medical bills or ripped clothing, great. If not, use DoNotPay to start filing the appropriate legal action.
An Easier Way to Sue a Landlord for Falling Down the Stairs
Finding a personal injury attorney and navigating the legal system on your own can be a long, drawn-out, frustrating process. We have a better idea. Tell DoNotPay about your issue and let our robot lawyer handle the details on your behalf. Here's how:
1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
2. Select which issue applies to you.
3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
DoNotPay also takes all the hassle and headache out of dealing with:
- How to get a security deposit back from your landlord
- How to kick out a roommate
- Your landlord threatening to evict you
- If a landlord can evict you without notice
- Sending a letter to your landlord requesting repairs
- Knowing how long a landlord has to return your deposit
- Where to file a complaint against your landlord
- How to sue a landlord for your deposit
In fact, there isn't any kind of renters rights issue we can't help you with.
If you want to report your landlord, DNP can do that for you. If you think you may need to sue your landlord for falling down the stairs, without delay.