When you decide to rent a property, the last thing you expect is to get injured. Sure, you may get injured if you slip and fall because you spilled something on the floor, but it is more shocking to get injured due to something the landlord didn’t want to fix. When something like this happens, the first thing you may have on your mind is when a landlord is liable for Tenant Injuries. Well, this article will have all the information you are looking for.
Can a Landlord Be Held Liable for the Tenant’s Injuries?
A landlord can be held liable if a tenant ends up getting an injury on the rented property, but it all depends on the case and the reason behind the injury. Just because you got an injury, it doesn’t instantly mean that the landlord will be liable. Things will only work in your favor in this situation if a landlord’s action or inaction caused your injury.
Besides, laws may be different depending on the state, so you need to check them out before starting a lawsuit. In Washington, for instance, many people end up hiring a Washington state personal injury lawyer to help hold the landlord liable and get compensation for anything like medical bills, lost work, future expenses, and others.
Washington has numerous law firms and lawyers that can help their clients handle a case where the landlord is at fault for their injury.
When Will the Landlord Be Held Liable for a Tenant’s Injuries?
Landlords can be held liable in different situations, such as:
When the Landlord Is Negligent
A landlord may be considered negligent in various cases. For example, they are negligent if they fail to inform their tenants about possible dangers on the property, or hidden ones, like basement doors hidden under rugs or uneven floors. Also, they are negligent when they do not repair the thing that may cause an injury and they don’t maintain it. Other situations include expected accidents such as broken stairs that were not repaired despite being obviously aware of the danger.
In short and broad terms, anything that could cause you an injury and that you cannot possibly get fixed without the help of your landlord is considered as proof of negligence.
When the Landlord Doesn’t Offer a Habitable Rental
All landlords are obliged to offer livable rentals, and this applies pretty much in all states. So, the living conditions should meet the basic safety and health standards no matter what. If this isn’t the case and tenants end up injured, landlords can be held liable for the injury.
Almost all states and countries out there have this particular requirement. However, laws differ from place to place and the basic safety and health standards might not be what you expect in some locations. If you do sustain an injury due to inhabitable rental, it’s better to consult with a personal injury lawyer before deciding to file a claim, go to court, and so on.
In certain cases, even if the living conditions are extremely sub-standard, the law might see them as fit for living.
When the Landlord Is Involved in Criminal Activities
Although injuries that are caused by a third party are usually not included in liability cases involving landlords and tenants, there are some exceptions. If a landlord is involved in criminal activities and harm is inflicted upon tenants as a result, the landlord may be held liable.
Negligence Per Se
There is also a legal theory that refers strictly to negligence per se. By its definition, a landlord can be considered negligent when they violate certain laws. Naturally, these laws affect tenants and their safety directly, hence it is still considered negligence.
On the other hand, in the case of negligence per se, the tenants don’t have to prove that their landlord acted in a negligent or unreasonable way. However, they have to:
- Show that their landlord has indeed violated a certain law.
- It Show that the law that has been violated was put in place to protect tenants from various dangers.
- Show that the damages/injuries they have been subject to, if any, could have been prevented if the law wasn’t violated by their landlord.
- Show that due to their landlord’s violation, they have sustained injuries and/or damages.
Also, keep in mind that different states come with different laws. For example, only certain states require landlords to keep smoke detectors in a good condition. It’s always better to check twice before you decide to let a potential act of negligence go unnoticed.
Landlords can be held liable if a tenant’s injury occurred due to their negligence or the fact that they didn’t meet the safety standards of the state. It may also happen when the landlord’s criminal activity leads to injury for the tenant. So, if you get injured on a rented property, keep these things in mind and hire a lawyer to help you out.