There are many ways to get injured around your house, apartment, or wherever you live. When you get hurt in your own home, in most cases you have no one to blame but yourself. But what if you don’t own the home you’re in?
What if you rent or lease and get hurt? When can you sue your landlord and when to you have to pay for your own injuries?
In Pennsylvania, the law requires the owner of any property that will be open to the public or be open to certain invitees, be reasonably free from known dangerous hazards. If the owner or landlord of the property is responsible for any injuries that:
- Were caused directly by the landlord, or
- Happened because the landlord knew of the hazard and didn’t take any steps to fix it in a reasonable time.
Let’s say a landlord knew about a dangerous staircase. The staircase could have had poor lighting or had damaged steps. If they knew about the problem and failed to repair it, they would be negligent for your stairway injury.
Another example would be if a tenant told the landlord that the lock on the security gate was broken, and the landlord didn’t do anything for quite some time and someone was assaulted because the lock didn’t work, then the landlord would likely be liable.
Who Can Sue?
When it comes to suing someone for injuries on their property, the law only allows the victim to sue if they were lawfully on the property. There are several ways people are lawfully on someone else’s property:
- Member of the public and it’s a public area: Sidewalk, Public access road to private property, Privately owned retail space.
- Renters and their guests: Common areas that are closed off to the rest of the public. Swimming pool, Tennis courts, Cabana.
- Invited on Property: Invitees are people specifically invited like a friend or family member, delivery worker, repair person, or anyone that is allowed to come on the property.
Inside your Home?
If you lease or rent property, for the most part, any injuries inside your home (like tripping over a child’s toy) are your responsibility to remedy. However, your landlord is responsible for your injuries if you were injured because they failed to properly fix something that was their responsibility. The most common of these injuries come from:
- Burned by hot water set too high,
- Fire extinguisher malfunctions,
- Didn’t fix loose flooring or stair rail in a reasonable time,
- Other tenant’s vicious dog got loose,
- Fire/Carbon monoxide alarms failed,
- Any injuries caused by the landlord not maintaining home properly.
Learn more on How to Prevent Accidents at Home.
What to Do if You’re Injured on Your Landlord’s Property?
If you were injured and you believe your landlord is responsible, then you need to prove that your landlord fixed something negligently or failed to fix something he was obligated to fix. Getting proof is one of the more difficult aspects of making a case for negligence.
Take pictures of the thing that injured you. Take pictures of your injury. Get information from other tenants or witnesses who knew of the hazard. Any letters, phone calls or other complaints made about the problem before the accident happened.
Landlord-Tennant laws can be tricky, so you should gather what you have and at least talk to an attorney who practices in this area of law.
Contact a Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer
After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.