Determining liability in a slip-and-fall case can be tricky, especially if it happened inside a rental property. One common question victims ask themselves is if they can hold their landlord liable for any accident that happens inside their rental properties.
The short answer to this question is that it depends. Unless the victim can prove there was landlord negligence in the case, they won't be able to file a claim against them.
There are a few scenarios, however, where a person can hold a property owner liable for slip-and-fall accidents. Those searching for "Can I sue my landlord after a slip-and-fall injury?" will find all the answers they need in this post.
Are Landlords Legally Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident in Their Property?
Even though it's common for landlords to keep their properties as safe as possible before renting them, they're not expected to do it all the time. If the victim can prove the following items, they could hold their landlord liable for the accident:
There was a dangerous condition on the landlord's property that any reasonable person would slip or trip on.
The landlord failed to provide repairs to said problem even though they knew about the hazard.
Because of the hazard, the victim suffered serious injuries.
In Tennessee, landlords have the legal responsibility of keeping their rental properties in a "clean and safe condition." Moreover, the unit must comply with local safety and health regulations.
What this means is that, if the landlord fails to keep their property safe, and their tenant falls or trips because of something the owner should have taken care of, they may have grounds for a lawsuit.
It's important to note that the landlord's liability will depend on whether the victim's acts were reasonable. If there was a leak on the roof, for example, the tenant is expected to do any of the following:
Deal with the problem.
Notify the landlord.
Leave the home until the problem gets fixed.
What happens if the problem is serious and the landlord doesn't take care of it quickly? The victim could talk to a lawyer for more information on what to do. On the other hand, if they already experienced an accident because of the hazard, they should talk to premises liability attorneys.
Are Landlords Liable for Injuries That Happen Outside the Unit?
It depends. Most landlords are required to keep all common areas around the property safe, including walkways. Technically, the victim could sue the landlord if they failed to keep those areas in good condition.
However, if the victim agrees to provide maintenance to those areas in the lease agreement, the landlord may be able to avoid responsibility for the accident.
What Can Victims Do If They Sustain Injuries Due to Their Landlord's Negligence?
The process to file a slip-and-fall claim because of landlord negligence isn't too complicated. Victims must seek medical attention immediately if the injury is too severe.
Then, it's important to contact the landlord's insurance company for more information on whether it can cover the damages or not.
Now, there are a few extra steps to follow for those who want to build a proper case. The more evidence the victim has, the more likely they will be to earn fair compensation.
These steps include:
Gathering photos and videos of the accident scene
Documenting the injuries
Gathering medical records related to the injuries
Talking to witnesses (if available)
Reaching out to a professional lawyer for legal advice
What Damages Can Victims Recover from Their Personal Injury Claim?
Slip-and-fall accident victims can recover many damages, depending on the severity of the case and the circumstances around it.
Usually, the victim will be able to recover economic damages from their personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages include lost wages, medical bills, treatment expenses, and other monetary items.
In some special cases, however, the victim may also be able to recover non-economic damages, which refer to things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, depression, and more. Claiming non-economic damages tends to be harder since they're personal, meaning it's complicated for an insurance company and/or court to quantify how much they're worth.
It's essential to talk to a Nashville slip and fall attorney before filing these claims, as this will help the victim understand how much their case is worth.
How Long Do People in Tennessee Have to File a Claim?
In Tennessee, victims have one year from the date of the incident to file their claim. This means they have a one-year deadline to build their case, or they will lose their right to recover damages.
There are a few exceptions to consider, however. The victim may have a longer period to file their claim if:
The case involved minors.
A law enforcement agent/prosecutor filed criminal charges against the defendant.
The accident led to the death of the victim.
The defendant willfully withheld evidence to get the case dismissed.
The defendant was residing outside Tennessee after the accident but before the lawsuit was filed.
Should Victims Seek Legal Help After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Yes. People who believe they experienced a slip-and-fall accident because of their landlord's negligence are encouraged to talk to a professional attorney.
Not only will the attorney guide the victim through the case, but they will also negotiate with the insurance company and/or the at-fault party to ensure they receive appropriate compensation based on the injuries.
Hiring a lawyer will give the victim peace of mind, ensuring they're not alone during this overwhelming process. This will help them focus on their recovery instead of other complicated areas of the lawsuit. They can also assist with suing homeowners insurance for a slip and fall injury.
Slip-and-fall accident victims must act fast if they want a chance to earn proper compensation. The longer they wait, the harder it will be to gather evidence and negotiate with the other party in slip and fall accidents proving fault.
The experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are willing to "Go to war" for their clients, ensuring they don't have to deal with insurance companies on their own. By scheduling a free consultation today, victims can go over the most important details of the case with a professional and come up with a reasonable plan to file a claim.