Can I Sue My Landlord for a Slip and Fall?
Landlords have an obligation to make sure that the property you live in be as hazard-free as reasonably possible. In many cases of a slip and fall injury in Texas, it may be possible to hire an Austin premises liability attorney and sue your landlord for compensation of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from a landlord’s negligence. Here are the circumstances under which you may sue your landlord following a slip and fall injury.
Negligence Must Be Proven
Not every injury resulting from slipping and falling requires compensation from a landlord. In order to be held liable, the landlord must have known or should have known about the problem that caused your slip and fall. The landlord must also have had a reasonable time to repair the problem and been negligent in maintaining the property. Even if the landlord was negligent in making the property safe, it must be shown that the tenant exercised due caution in attempting to avoid injury.
Inside the Apartment or Home
As an example, let us say that the flooring in the kitchen is starting to come up in a place, creating a possible trip hazard. If you do not notify the landlord about the dangerous flooring, the landlord will likely not be responsible for any injuries you suffer in a fall. The landlord had no way of knowing about the condition of the floor and so is not responsible for your injuries.
To take the example further, if you call the landlord this morning about the flooring problem, and then fall this afternoon, your landlord will likely not bear any liability for your injuries. The landlord did not have a reasonable amount of time to make repairs and so is not responsible.
Finally, let’s say that you notified your landlord about the flooring problem and a week or even a month go by, and no repair is made. If after a reasonable period of time no repairs are made, the landlord will likely be responsible to compensate you for your injuries due to the slip and fall.
Exterior falls may be more complicated. If there is ice or snow on the sidewalk and you slip and injure yourself, determining who is responsible may not be immediately apparent. The terms of your lease will specify who has the responsibility to clear snow and ice from the sidewalk. If it was the landlord’s responsibility, the property owner may be responsible to compensate you for your fall.
If you trip over some object on your front stairs, the landlord will likely not be responsible for your injuries. The landlord has no duty to keep the stairs clear of foreign objects and could not have foreseen that you might fall or injure yourself on an object they could not have known about.
However, if the stairs are in poor repair, and you have notified the landlord about their condition, it is likely they will be required to compensate you for any injuries you sustain from a fall on those stairs. Nevertheless, you will need to show that the poor condition of the stairs was directly responsible for your fall and injuries.
In general, if the landlord was aware of the dangerous situation, or should have been aware, and did not take action in a timely manner to make repairs, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you suffer in a fall.