To win your slip and fall injury settlements from your apartment building you must familiarize yourself with a few concepts:
Burden of Proof
When it comes to slip and fall claims the burden of proof is always on YOU. You must clearly show that your landlord was responsible for your injuries. This is done by answering a few basic questions:
Did your landlord know about the hazardous condition before you were injured?
Did your landlord refuse to take any specific precautions to make the area safe?
Were your personal injuries a direct consequence of your slip and fall?
Your landlord has a legal duty to keep your apartment and the building common area safe. This is considered their “duty of care”. In order to show that they ignored their duty, you must first establish fault.
To show that the landlord was responsible for your personal injuries you must gather evidence which supports your slip and fall injury settlements. There are several ways to do this. The first is…
1. No Regular inspections
Your landlord is required to do regular inspections around the apartment building to make sure everything is safe.
For example, you slipped and fell in the stairway because there was a leaky pipe. You’ve noticed the leaky pipe before and assumed the landlord would take care of it. After all it’s not your responsibility to do the maintenance or inform them about these issues.
In this case the landlord was negligent because they refused to address a dangerous situation. If they had done their regular inspections it could have prevented your injuries.
What makes the landlord particularly at fault is that the pipe was leaking for several days. This means they had more than enough time to fix the situation and prevent your injuries.
Even if your landlord was unable to do the necessary repairs, he/she could have at least posted warning signs to alert you and other tenants about the hazardous situation.
However, since your landlord ignored these things it makes them more liable and negligent.
2. Ignoring Written Notices
Another example of the landlord being negligent is when they refuse written notices about making repairs.
For example, your apartment shower door is loose. You sent a written notice to management explaining the problem and asked them to fix it. A couple of months went by and your shower door was still not fixed.
One day the shower door falls on your foot and you severely injure your big toe.
Since you sent a written notice, you’ve established that the building manager was aware of the potential of injury. And since you sent the letter a few months ago, it shows that management was not responsive to fix your shower door.
Both of these things show negligence and your building owner can be held liable for your injuries.
To win your slip and fall injury settlements, you should gather as much evidence of the other party’s fault as you can. You can do this by…
1. Getting Copy of Written Notice.
As mentioned before a written notice is helpful because it is documented proof that the building management both knew about the dangerous situation and ignored it.
Make a copy of your statement. Note the date the notice was sent and how long it took the landlord to take any precautions.
2. Speak with other tenants
Ask the other building tenants if they have also seen any hazardous conditions on the property.
Did they suffer any injuries? Did they report their concerns to the landlord? Did management alleviate the tenants concerns? Or were their complaints ignored and disregarded?
Gather as many names and statements from the witnesses as you can. Having other tenants statements makes your slip and fall injury settlements case more credible. It shows a repeated pattern of your building owner being negligent and irresponsible
3. Take videos/picture
Take lots of videos/pictures of the area where you were injured. Take them from multiple angles.
After you have captured these images, make sure you note the date and time. Check back in a couple of hours or days and take more videos/pictures.
Has the area been made safer? Have any signs been posted? Try to establish a timeline of when you noticed the hazardous area and how long it took the landlord to clean it up. The longer it takes them to fix the area, the more liable they are for your slip and fall injury settlements.
Follow these basic steps and you will increase your chances of getting a fair slip and fall settlement.