Most people think that apartment complexes are safe. While this may be true in most circumstances, there are instances when landlords fail to maintain safe premises. Sidewalks might be broken or icy, security might be poor, or stairs may be in disrepair. When these circumstances arise, a tenant can suffer serious injuries that are extremely painful and costly to treat. If you’re in this situation now, then you might be wondering whether you can hold your landlord liable for your injuries.
A landlord’s duty of care
Landlords owe their tenants a duty of reasonable care when it comes to maintaining common areas in an apartment complex. This means that exterior stairwells, pools, parking lots, and sidewalks should be kept in a relatively safe condition. Landlords should repair all defects that their aware of or that they should be aware of through the exercise of reasonable care. If a landlord becomes aware of a dangerous condition, then he or she should inform the tenant. Similarly, if a landlord promises to fix a hazardous condition, then he or she may be held accountable if he or she fails to adhere to that promise and a tenant is harmed as a result.
Be cognizant of your allocation of fault
In Indiana, your potential recovery can be reduced or even barred depending on the amount of fault allocated to you. Therefore, simply proving that a landlord breached the applicable standard of care may not be enough. You also need to be prepared to play defense by showing that you acted reasonably under the circumstances and didn’t contribute to the accident and injuries in question.
For example, if your landlord failed to remove ice from a sidewalk and you slip and hurt your back, then you might be able to recover compensation. However, if your landlord can show that there was a clear alternative route that was free from ice that you were aware of, then you may be hit with a significant portion of the fault.
Seek the compensation you deserve
Slip-and-fall and other kinds of premises liability injuries are painful and costly. Yet, a lot of these victims don’t realize that they might be able to recover compensation for the harm caused to them. So, if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, then it might be time to talk to an attorney about your legal options.