Legally, landlords are required to maintain their rental housing in good condition to protect their tenants as well guests of the
tenant. When an accident occurs on the premises, particularly on a staircase, injuries can be quite severe and may include a visit to hospital or other medical provider. If you feel that you have been injured due to negligence by the landlord, you should consider filing a slip and fall or trip and fall case to recover damages for your personal injuries.
Many people fall down the stairs each year. Because of this, special building regulations have been put in place that regulate stair height and the regular maintenance of stair railings and the surfaces of each individual step of the stairs. In most cases, the landlord’s insurance company will be responsible for payment if the landlord is found to be at fault. However, because so many falls occur because items that were left on the stairs by the tenants themselves were the cause of the trip or slip, the burden of proof can be on the injured party.
When The Landlord Is Responsible For A Staircase Fall
Owner liability occurs after a staircase fall if the owner or one of his representatives has caused the problem on the stairs. That problem could be spilled liquid, a shiny, slippery surface on one or more of the stair steps, or a torn piece of carpeting that creates a trip hazard to residents. If the landlord was aware of any of these conditions and did nothing to correct it, then he will be held responsible for damages.
The landlord/tenant relationship is complicated by the fact that the landlord has an obligation to maintain his properties. The courts have found that even if the tenant did not tell the landlord about the problem on the stairway but that the problem was obvious enough that a reasonable person could have easily noticed it, then the landlord can be held at fault.
Additional Problems That a Landlord Must Correct and Maintain
When there are clear building code violations or when outside stairs are covered with a thick and hazardous sheet of slippery ice that has not been removed after a snowstorm, the onus is transferred to the insurance company to prove that you were at fault and that you sustained your injuries due to your own negligence. If any of the following items exist within your rental home, you and your family are in danger of falling down the stairs and would likely receive compensation in a court case. However, to remain healthy and uninjured, the prudent step would be to request a timely repair. See here for more information on slip and trip in a rental home.
Handrail Is Not Present Or Is Incorrectly Installed
After an injury sustained on a staircase, the landlord can be held accountable if the staircase either does not have the required handrail or if the handrail is placed improperly. Suppose the accident occurred when the tenant reached for the handrail to prevent the fall. If the handrail gave way or was absent, you should seek damages.
Improper Or Variable Stair Height Or Depth
When climbing stairs, fewer falls happen when both stair height and depth are between a minimum and maximum measurement as written into local building codes. Those codes also require that these measurements remain consistent for the entire length of the stairway. This is because people use muscle memory instead of conscious thought to ascend and descend household stairs. When deviations occur, the likelihood of a slip or trip dramatically increases.
After a fall, give us a call when your case fits into any of the above categories. We will work with you to get you the compensation that you need.