Landlords can cause tenant injuries in various ways. Negligent acts of omission such as failure to repair a loose stair or railing can cause a tenant to fall and seriously injure himself. Faulty wiring can lead to a fire that injures a tenant and destroys the tenant’s belongings. A leaky roof might cause dampness and create black mold that could trigger serious illness. A broken window can cut a child’s hand . Even an attack by another tenant (or a tenant’s dog) can lead to landlord liability. You will need to prove however that the landlord knew, or should of had prior notice of the danger and failed to take reasonable steps to eliminate the danger. If it was the landlord that caused the dangerous condition, no notice need be shown, since the injury was a direct cause of the landlords negligence.
If you or your guest gets injured resulting from your landlords negligence, contact your landlord immediately. If possible, also notify the landlord of your claim in writing. Carefully document the circumstances and if possible take pictures of the dangerous condition.
If you have renters insurance, be sure to contact them of the claim. Especially if your guest was injured.
The property owner’s premise liability policy will require the landlord to promptly report your claim to their insurance company. If the injuries are serious, the property owner’s insurance company will send out one of their claims adjusters to investigate the claim on the property owners behalf. Be careful, the insurance company is trying to find evidence to deny your claim by claiming you were not careful or that you had prior notice of the dangerous condition yourself and therefore were careless and should be responsible for your own injuries, or at least, comparatively responsible.
Don’t try to do all the investigation yourself. Retain a qualified personal injury attorney that practices premise liability law. If the lawyer is competent, he or she will do their own investigation of the circumstances in order to preserve evidence and obtain statements from other tenants and witnesses. It is usually best not to speak with the property owners insurance company. You should simply inform the adjuster you have a lawyer and that all inquires should be directed to the lawyers office.