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Landlords must ensure that the apartment buildings and the premises they own and maintain are kept in a reasonably safe condition. This obligation extends to tenants, their guests, and others who have permission to enter the property. However, it too often happens that landlords neglect this duty and tenants or their guests are injured as a result.
If a landlord fails to remedy a hazard or defect on the property which they knew about - or should have known about - they may be held liable for any injuries you experienced as a result of their failure to make necessary repairs.
Landlord's Duty to Tenants & Guests
Landlords are responsible for ensuring that common areas in apartment buildings are free from dangerous conditions, and repairs are timely made. Such areas can include vestibules, lobbies, stairwells, laundry rooms, gym facilities, pools, hallways, and any other public spaces which can be accessed by tenants and their guests.
Some common examples of defects or dangerous conditions in apartment buildings that can give rise to injuries may include:
·Uneven or cracked flooring
·Poorly lit stairwells
·Precipitation or ice accumulation in vestibules or entryways
·Debris on floors
According to the terms of most lease agreements, tenants must maintain the inside of their apartments. However, there may be certain situations in which liability falls upon a landlord for injuries you incurred as a result of a condition inside your apartment. For example, a landlord may be held liable if they knowingly allowed you to rent a unit with an existing dangerous condition that caused you to suffer illness or injury.
Proving Landlord Liability
To establish a landlord's liability, it is not enough for a plaintiff to show that a dangerous condition existed on the property - they must also prove that the landlord had "actual notice" or "constructive notice" of it.
To show that a landlord had "actual notice," a plaintiff must be able to present evidence that the landlord knew about the hazard and failed to remedy it in a reasonable amount of time. Actual notice can be demonstrated through communications such as letters, texts, or any other type of evidence that can show the landlord had knowledge of the condition.
A landlord has a duty to ensure that the premises are regularly inspected for any defects or dangers. "Constructive notice" means that the landlord should have known about the condition. This kind of notice can be demonstrated by showing that the hazard was open and obvious, or existed for an unreasonable amount of time without a warning sign.
Apartment Building Injuries and Compensation
Depending on the type of accident that occurred on the premises of the apartment building, victims of landlord negligence can sustain serious injuries. While many different types of accidents can occur on apartment building premises, slip and falls and trip and falls are some of the most common. Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents can result in broken bones, soft-tissue injuries, lacerations, brain injuries, spine injuries, paralysis, and fatality in certain cases.
If your landlord's negligence was the direct cause of your apartment building injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Victims of premises liability may be entitled to recover unreimbursed medical expenses, future medical expenses, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages in some cases.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured on the premises of an apartment building due to a hazard or defect, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can advise you of your legal rights. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and time lost from work.
The Popick Law Firm has over thirty years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of premises liability. Located in Flushing, Queens, The Popick Law Firm handles personal injury and auto accident cases in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact The Popick Law Firm today for a consultation.