Good landlords go the extra mile to ensure the safety of all their tenants, whether that be in their individual units or outside in the common areas.
Unfortunately, however, not all residential property owners keep a consistent pulse on the security of their grounds.
When apartment accidents occur and result in personal injury, it can often be complicated to pinpoint exactly who is responsible and why. If you’ve been injured in an apartment-related personal injury in New York, NY, here’s how you can determine and prove liability.
What Accidents Are Common at Apartment Buildings?
According to AskTheLawyers.com, among the most common types of injury in an apartment complex is a slip-and-fall accident. Caused by many factors like a leak, uneven flooring or steps, incorrect or broken handrails, and poor lighting, these kinds of preventable accidents can happen quickly and without warning.
Even the wrong type of paint on stairs or the floor could result in a dangerous slip-and-fall.
Aside from slip-and-fall accidents, tenants are often wounded in apartment buildings by dog bites, parking lot accidents, negligent security accidents, and even wrongful death. Pool injuries and accidents at the gym are also not unusual, although they can be burdensome to prove who is liable.
Steps to Take If You’re in an Apartment Accident
If you’re injured at your apartment complex — no matter the scale of your suffering — photos of the scene serve as excellent proof of your case. Clear pictures of the hazard, especially with a time stamp, can decrease the likelihood of a landlord disputing your claim.
Promptly report the incident
Waiting a few days to report an accident could be detrimental to your chance of compensation. The sooner you report the incident, the easier it is to collect the time-sensitive evidence crucial to proving your claim.
Collect information from eyewitnesses
Eyewitnesses are another determining source of proof in personal injury cases. Be sure to get names, contact information, and detailed statements from anyone who may have witnessed your apartment building accident. Your personal injury attorney in New York, NY should be able to contact them if questions arise.
Seek immediate medical care for injuries
Again, time is of the essence when you have had an accident at an apartment complex. Waiting a few days, or even weeks, to pursue medical assistance can open the door for questioning and make your case more difficult to prove.
It’s best to consult a doctor right away to alleviate any pain, as well as document how and when the injury occurred.
Hire an attorney as soon as possible
Healing from an apartment accident can be difficult with the burden of trying to prove negligence. Ease your fears by quickly appointing a personal injury attorney who can help you understand the laws and your rights.
A legal team on your side can also negotiate with the opposing party and insurance companies, preventing you from supplying information that could derail your claim. In addition, legal professionals can help fill out the proper paperwork and gather critical evidence in a timely fashion.
What Is Premises Liability?
When accidents occur in apartment buildings, they’re subject to premises liability law. Premises liability encompasses injuries that occur on residential, business, or city premises due to the property owner’s negligence.
In an apartment complex, landlords or property managers are responsible for ensuring the safety and maintenance of common areas like fences, parking, landscaping, and recreational areas. They must perform regular checks and make proper repairs in these spaces.
If the landlord ignores these responsibilities for whatever reason, they could be found guilty of negligence — failure to properly care for something, resulting in dangerous conditions.
In addition, if landlords or owners refuse to inform tenants of hazards in the common areas, the injured party could bring a premises liability claim against them.
Oftentimes, responsibility for an apartment accident can fall on the landlord or the building owner, but not in all cases. Sometimes, the fault lies with the architects, developers, engineers, or even other tenants. It is possible for negligent security, landscaping, parking lot maintenance, trash removal, grounds-keeping, or construction companies also to be liable.
To be compensated for your injuries, you must prove a direct correlation between the accident and negligence. In particular, you must demonstrate that:
- The landlord or another offending party broke a law related to the safety and welfare of the tenant
- The injuries you sustained were of the nature the law intended to prevent
- The landlord or another offending party’s negligence resulted in these injuries
What Is the Typical Compensation for an Apartment Building Accident?
From minor cuts and bruises to severe traumatic brain injuries, the suffering caused by an apartment building accident can quickly become costly when medical bills add up. Luckily, if your injury is proven to have resulted from negligence, you are entitled to reimbursement for any related medical expenses.
In addition to out-of-pocket medical bills, compensation for your apartment building accident might cover the cost of:
- Lost wages while undergoing treatment for injuries
- Personal property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Emotional distress
How the Leav & Steinberg LLP Team Can Help Your Case
While recovering from a personal injury, it’s important to remember you’re not battling legal woes alone — the Leav & Steinberg LLP team is here to help. When you choose us to represent your residential premises liability claim, we’ll work diligently to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys can assist you in and out of the courtroom, with services including but not limited to:
- Collecting evidence to build your case
- Tracking down potential witnesses
- Reviewing insurance policies and communicating with insurance companies
- Naming defendants in your lawsuit
- Appearing in court on your behalf
- Negotiating settlements
Personal Injury Law Firm — Leav & Steinberg LLP
If you were a victim of negligence at an apartment complex, don’t delay taking action. In New York, the statute of limitations for filing your residential premises liability claim is only three years.
At Leav & Steinberg LLP, our team of 9 experienced lawyers and 15 compassionate support staff have more than 17 years of experience — winning several monumental cases and recovering millions for our personal injury clients. Our premises liability lawyers speak English, Spanish, Albanian, and Portuguese and do not charge any attorney fees until you win the case.
Request your free consultation with our personal injury attorneys in New York, NY today.