Whether you are renting an apartment or visiting a friend at her apartment,
an issue can arise if you slip and fall while on the apartment premises.
If this happens, your first question will probably be, who is responsible?
The answer to that important question depends entirely on where you were
on the property and what caused you to fall.
Basic negligence issues in slip and fall cases
Slip and fall cases, as with nearly all other personal injury claims, are
based on the legal theory of negligence. If negligence cannot be shown,
there is no liability. The first step is determining if the property owner
was negligent in causing your fall. When the fall occurs on rental property,
such as an apartment complex, the property owner would be the landlord.
Was it really the landlord's fault?
The issue of liability is not that simple, however. Just because you slipped
and fell on rental property doesn't mean the landlord was negligent.
Instead, you must show that your landlord knew or should reasonably have
known that the premises were unsafe.
When might the renter be responsible?
Assume your friend's apartment, where you were visiting at the time
of the fall, had a leak in the ceiling. The water that dripped on the
floor from the leak caused you to slip and fall. The key is determining
who knew about the leak before you fell. If your friend had already reported
the leak, but the landlord did not fix it, then the landlord may be liable.
However, if your friend did not report the leak, and did not warn you
about the danger of falling, then your friend may be the one who is responsible.
If you have questions regarding a personal injury matter,
contact us online or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC at (205) 381-4787.