Landlord Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
In your lease agreement, it states that your landlord is the one responsible for the yard maintenance of your rental property. But as fall progresses and more and more leaves fall from the trees, your landlord has yet to rake up the leaves.
Coming home from work on one particularly rainy day, you slip on a pile of leaves and fall in the parking lot. Your head hits the pavement, causing a concussion. Who is responsible for this accident?
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, when you get into an accident on a commercial property, the responsibility generally lies on the property owners or the store management. But what about private property? Does the fault fall on your shoulder? It depends on where you live.
Single Family vs. Rental Properties
If you are a homeowner and someone had slipped and fallen on your property, the responsibility will be on your shoulders. However, your homeowners’ insurance will take care of the claim. And since it was on private property, the person cannot sue you since the duty of care rules don’t apply to private property owners.
However, the same cannot be said for rental properties. If the landlord fails to do the following, he/she is liable for your injuries after a slip and fall:
- Failing to fix a hazardous condition in a timely manner
- Is negligent in fixing a hazardous condition, such as not properly securing a handrail on a set of stairs
- Not letting the tenant know about the hazardous condition
- Violating any safety laws
Landlord Liability Limits
But what if the accident was your fault? Going back to the scenario above, let’s say your lease actually said that you were responsible for cleaning up the leaves. Can you still sue your landlord for premises liability?
This can get tricky. Even though it’s the landlord is responsible for the safety of the people living in his rental property, you have an agreement with your landlord that you would be responsible for clearing the property of leaves. It may be difficult to bring a lawsuit against your landlord for the accident.
It’s also important to note that if the accident had occurred in your own residence, such as a slip and fall on your kitchen floor because of a leaky refrigerator, your landlord may not be held responsible. Only in common areas, such as stairwells, hallways, and parking lots, and any faulty repair work can landlord liability come into play.
Had a Slip and Fall Accident? Call Us
If you had a slip and fall accident that cause a severe injury, you have legal options available. But first, you need an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today to schedule your free consultation.