Question for Attorney Carbone: Can I Sue My Landlord for My Accident?
Question: I live in an old apartment complex. I’ve complained three times to my landlord about my ceiling, which leaks when it rains. After a rainstorm, I was working at my computer when the very wet ceiling tile came crashing down. It hit me in the head and poured water all over my computer. I suffered a concussion and my laptop is ruined. Can I sue my landlord?
Answer: Yes you can. And that’s not the only person you can sue.
In a premises liability case like the one described above, there’s always a question of who is responsible for an accident. For example, if you slip and fall outside a commercial property because the owners failed to clean up the ice, you can sue the owners of the store. It was a failure of duty of care — this means, the property owners and/or the commercial residents failed in their legal obligation to provide a standard of reasonable care. Since they failed in their legal responsibilities, they caused harm to others.
The same can be said for residential owners. If you get into an accident on a multifamily property in New Jersey that was caused by the negligence of your landlord, you have the right to sue for failure of duty of care. You may also be able to sue any employees who work at the complex, such as a property manager. If the property is managed by a property management company, you can sue it. All these entities had failed in their job to protect you in this accident.
Now let’s change the scenario and say this happened at a neighbor’s home that he/she owes. Can you sue the owner for the accident? This can be tricky. Private property owners do have the responsibility to keep their homes safe from any dangers. However, in New Jersey, they cannot be held liable for your accident.
The best thing you can do is speak with an experienced premises liability attorney who can explain your legal options. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.