Three Ways Apartment Renters Can Become Injured Due Their Landlord’s Negligence
As a tenant in a Charlotte rental home or apartment building, you may not realize your lease guarantees you the right to security and safety. You should be able to sleep at night without worrying that you will become injured through an accident, assault, or another type of injury. If you have been injured while renting a housing unit, you may have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your landlord or the owner of your apartment complex to help you pay for your recovery. Below are five ways your landlord’s negligence could cause you to become injured.Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of tenant injuries. When landlords do not use reasonable care to keep the property safe, tenants can slip, trip, or stumble and fall, causing serious injuries. For example, if your landlord did not install adequate lighting or failed to remove debris or other obstacles from a stairway and you tripped and fell, you may be able to hold your landowner liable for your injuries.
Every year, thousands of people suffer injuries ranging in severity from bruises to traumatic brain injuries from slip and fall accidents. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, 50% of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by falling. Over eight million emergency room visits are caused by slip and fall accidents. Falls in rental units and rental homes can occur when negligent landlords fail to repair the following dangerous conditions:
- Uneven flooring
- Loose rugs or mats
- Moisture or pools of liquid on the floor
- Worn out carpeting
- Freshly mopped or waxed floors
- Potholes in the parking lot
- Icy stairs or sidewalks
- Defective sidewalks
- Poorly constructed staircases
- Loose floorboards
- Cluttered floors
Unsafe stairways are another common cause of tenant injuries. Stairways with uneven stairs, faulty handrails, poorly lit, or otherwise negligently maintained can cause accidents. Other conditions that can make apartment stairways hazardous include the following:
- Slippery surfaces: worn-out carpet or highly polished wooden stairs that are slick increase the risk of accidents
- Steep staircases - steep staircases without handrails can be dangerous and cause accidents
- Spillage - spilled liquids that are not cleaned up can cause slips and falls
- Uneven height or depth - when the steps on the stairs are slightly uneven, people are more likely to trip and fall on staircases
During winter, landlords are responsible for keeping stairways and steps free from ice. When tenants slip and fall on icy steps or stairways, they may have a valid claim for compensation. Plaintiffs can pursue economic and non-economic compensation. Economic compensation includes past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and other quantifiable damages. Non-economic damages include damages for pain and suffering.Injuries Caused by Criminal Assault
Landlords have a legal obligation to use reasonable care to take measures to prevent criminal activity from occurring on their property and injuring tenants and guests. While landlords are not responsible for all random or targeted criminal acts, they are responsible for stopping foreseeable crimes.
For example, suppose multiple tenants have been assaulted in a dark stairwell in the apartment complex. In that case, the landlord has a responsibility for making the stairwell safer, which could include adding lighting, putting security cameras in the area, or hiring a security guard.
Additionally, landlords have a duty to screen their employees and tenants carefully. For example, if a landlord fails to run a basic background check on a maintenance employee. If an employee goes on to sexually assault a tenant, the landlord could be liable for the victim’s injuries. If the victim can prove that the employer would have uncovered that the employee had multiple convictions for sexual assault, they would be more likely to recover compensation.Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney
Under North Carolina law, people and entities who own or manage rental properties have a legal obligation to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. Landlords are obligated to prevent tenants and guests from suffering foreseeable injuries caused by known dangers. If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a crime or accident that occurred at a rental property, it is essential that you discuss your case with a skilled attorney. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.