Question for Attorney Carbone: Can I Sue the Rental Property Owner for My Accident?
Question: I had rented a shore house for a long three-day weekend with a few college friends of mine. The owner had warned us beforehand not to go into the basement because the stairs were not in the best condition. But the stairs seemed fine to us and, not heeding his warning, we went into the basement anyway. While I was climbing down, my foot caught on the broken step and I tumbled down, breaking my leg in three places. Can I sue the property owner?
Answer: As we stated in a previous blog when you get into an accident on a commercial or multifamily property, premises liability law states that the property owner and employees may be responsible for your accident. These same rules do apply to vacation rental properties such as shore houses. It is the owner’s responsibility to do the following:
- Maintain the premises for the safety of guests
- Must warn the guests of any dangers to the property
- Is responsible to make sure repairs are made to the hazards
- And make sure to keep the rental free of hazards and have the proper safety conditions
In your case, you may have trouble bringing a claim against the rental owner. Since he warned you of the danger before the accident occurred, he was doing his duty in preventing an accident. But since he failed to properly maintain the property, you still may have a claim.
However, since both parties are responsible for the accident, the outcome may not be as promising as it would be. According to New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, the injured victim’s fault cannot be more than the other party. In your case, you may have an issue since you ignored the rental property owner’s warnings of not going down the stairs.
Your best solution is to contact an experienced premises liability attorney to help you with your claim. For almost 30 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone have been helping premises liability victims throughout the state with their claims. Contact us today for a free consultation.