Who pays my injury claim after an accident in my apartment?
You never think of having an accident in your own home but it does happen from time to time. Especially if you live in an apartment building that’s in need of some maintenance work. But if you do have an accident that causes you injury in your own apartment, who is responsible for the personal injury claim? You would be surprised to hear the answer.
Here’s the scenario: It’s been raining heavily for the past couple of days and you notice a wet spot on one of your ceiling tiles. Although nothing is dripping down, you just assume that a little rain got into the ceiling. You mention it to the landlord who plans to fix the tile sometime in the future. No big deal…until a couple of days later. While cleaning a spot underneath that wet ceiling title, you hear a crack. You look up just to see the ceiling tile fall and hit you right in the head. The doctor says the falling title had caused a concussion and you will be out of work for a couple of days. Unfortunately, you never got around to purchasing renter’s insurance. So, who’s going to pay the doctor’s fee?
Unlike a home that you may have purchased, liability claims are different for the apartment tenant. Your landlord has certain duties to keep the apartment building safe for you and your visitors. That means, he/she must maintain the safety of common areas such as hallways or stairwells; warn of any dangers such as a leaky pipe; and make safe any dwellings in the building. But what about the injuries suffered in our scenario? Is the landlord responsible for the concussion? In this case, yes. Since the landlord was aware of the problem yet failed to fix the ceiling tile in a timely fashion, this is a case of negligence that caused your injuries.
But like any premises liability case, in order to for the landlord to be responsible for your injuries, the following conditions must be met:
- The landlord breached his duty by not fixing a dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time
- The landlord was given adequate warning of the issue prior to the accident and fixing the problem wouldn’t have been a major expense or difficulty
- The cause of your injury is a direct result of the issue
If you get into an accident in your apartment and the reason was because of your landlord’s negligence, you’re going to need help with your injury claim. For more than 26 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been helping clients throughout New Jersey get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.