Suing Storage Facility for Negligence in Small Claims Court
If you are wondering whether suing a storage facility for negligence is possible in small claims court, the short answer is yes. But you need to put your best foot forward to have any chance of winning.
The good news is, it’s entirely possible to win this type of case. The Gonzalez v. A-1 Self Storage, Inc. case serves as a great example. In 1999, Lisa Gonzalez sued A-1 Self Storage for negligence in a small claims court. She argued that the facility she had rented was invaded by water and her valuable possessions were destroyed. After carefully examining all the evidence, the court ruled in favor of Lisa, the plaintiff, awarding her over $5,000 damages from A-1 Self Storage.
In this article, we’ll discuss your rights as a tenant and how to sue a storage facility for negligence in small claims court. We’ll also show you a quick, simplified way to sue any individual or company without an attorney using DoNotPay.
Reasons to Sue a Storage Facility for Negligence
There are many reasons to sue a storage facility for negligence in a small claims court:
|Rodent Invasion||While rats, mice, and other rodents are common in cities and suburban areas, it doesn’t mean there’s any reason for them to be in your storage unit. If the storage facility has failed to uphold proper pest control maintenance, and rodents have damaged your possessions in storage, then suing for negligence is a real possibility.|
|Water Infiltration||All storage facilities are required by law to have water-prevention mechanisms. If you experienced a substantial water leak or flood in your facility, and you can prove the owner was at fault, you can file a case in small claims court for negligence.|
|Fire Outbreak||Surprisingly, only a few fires that break out at storage facilities are put out in time to avoid major damages. Most of these fires cause irreparable damage before they are contained. If you think the facility owner could have done a better job at preventing or handling a fire outbreak, there’s a real chance of compensation in a small claims court.|
|Burglary||Unfortunately, storage facilities can become a target for robberies and vandalization. If you can prove the facility neglected to maintain working security cameras or they failed to properly secure the grounds, then suing the storage facility for negligence might be your best bet.|
What to Consider Before You Sue for Negligence
Before you make a claim against a storage facility for negligence, there are a few things you’ll want to check to be sure the facility can be held liable.
- Thoroughly review the rental agreement. Most rental agreements include a clause that limits a tenant from suing the storage facility. If it doesn’t, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my complaint addressed in the agreement?
- Does the facility owner have a legal duty to protect my belongings from pests, floods, leaks, fires, or any other hazards?
- Was the damage to my possessions actually a result of negligence?
- Has the storage facility blatantly ignored any provisions written out in the agreement?
- Are there protocols listed to help solve tenant-owner disagreements?
- Reach out to the owner or manager of the facility. Your storage company has a duty to respond to formal complaints and act on them accordingly. Keep a clear record of all communications to serve as evidence if they fail to address your complaint.
- Keep a detailed account of all the damages you’ve incurred at the storage facility. If possible, take pictures of any damaged items.
How to Sue a Storage Facility in Small Claims Court
If you are planning to sue a storage facility for negligence, follow these four steps:
- Gather all Evidence: Among all cases in small claims court, negligence is perhaps the hardest to prove. So arm yourself with as much evidence as possible. This could include photos of the damaged items and records of communication with the facility owner, such as text messages, emails, or call logs.
- Fill out a Complaint Form: You don’t have to draft your own document from scratch. Most district court clerks have complaint forms available to use or copy. When you get the form, fill it out explaining the amount of money being claimed, cause of action, and the reason for suing the storage facility.
- Serve the Storage Facility: The district court clerk will provide you with the documents necessary to be served to the facility owner in order to notify them of your complaint and intent to sue.
- Appear in Court: If you want your case to progress, appearing in court is a must. Submit your evidence and be prepared to argue your case.
How to Sue a Storage Facility With DoNotPay
Suing a storage facility for negligence can be arduous, costly, and incredibly time-consuming. As a solution to this issue, DoNotPay provides an automated lawsuit generator that makes the process quick and hassle-free. To sue a storage facility via DoNotPay, follow these simple steps:
- Log in to DoNotPay on any browser and select the “Sue Now” product.
- Enter the type and dollar amount of compensation you’re seeking.
- Select whether you want to serve a demand letter or complete complaint forms to file with the court.
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable evidence, including photo proof.
That’s it! DoNotPay will generate a demand letter or court-filing form for you. We’ll even email a copy of the demand letter to the individual or business you’re suing.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?
With DoNotPay, the process of suing a storage facility for negligence is fast and seamless! Check out other companies that DoNotPay has helped sue: