Can You Sue after a Slip and Fall Outside Your Apartment?
Once you leave your Los Angeles apartment, you face a number of risks before you make it off the property. One of these is the chance that you may slip and fall. If this occurs on the landlord’s property, you may be entitled to financial compensation in a premises liability lawsuit.
Your Landlord’s Legal Obligations to Keep You Safe
Your landlord is legally responsible for maintaining the area outside your apartment. These areas include the following:
- Recreation areas
- The front walk and other sidewalks
- Parking lots
While you have the legal requirement to pay rent according to your lease, your landlord also has obligations to you. One of their responsibilities is to provide you with safe premises. Otherwise, they can be held liable in a civil lawsuit.
The key standard that comes into play in a slip-and-fall lawsuit against your landlord is that they must take reasonable steps to stop accidents. While they are not expected to take superhuman measures to prevent all mishaps on their property, they are expected to do things that a reasonable landlord would do, including:
- Fixing broken steps
- Removing obstructions from the sidewalk
- Mark hidden dangers to alert people to the condition
The Landlord Cannot Ignore Danger
This generally means that if the landlord ignored a foreseeable danger, they could be held legally responsible. For example, if they delayed making necessary repairs of something that could be a hazard, they are acting unreasonably. Specifically, the landlord is required to have caused the dangerous condition or have not fixed it once they knew about it.
In order to win a slip-and-fall case against your landlord, you would need to prove that your landlord’s carelessness caused your injury. In other words, the mere fact that you slipped and fell does not automatically mean that you would receive a check for your injuries.
For example, if you slipped in the hallways minutes after one of your neighbors dropped their groceries and spilled something, that is likely not the landlord’s fault. However, if someone called the landlord to tell them of the spill, and they did nothing, or the landlord did nothing to clean the hallway for a long time, that could be the landlord’s fault.
The best thing to do is to have pictures and plenty of them in order to prove what the landlord should have done. If you are injured, it is hard for you to document the scene of your own injury. This is why you need to call a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer immediately after your injury. They can begin the work of recreating the accident scene and demonstrating the condition of the property at the time you fell.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
Slip-and-fall lawsuits are not always clear-cut since you must prove what the landlord did or did not do at the time of your accident. Call the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at the firm of Jahrmarkt & Associates at (310) 226-7676 or contact us online to get started on the legal process. In a slip-and-fall case, it is vital to get a lawyer immediately.