Slip and falls: Holding your landlord liable for them

Slip and Fall Liabilities in Rental Properties

When it comes to some of the many responsibilities of landlords, one is to ensure that both residents and visitors are protected from potential slip-and-fall accidents. This is particularly important in multi-unit properties where common areas abound.

Slip-and-fall Accidents Are Common

Slip-and-fall accidents are unfortunately quite common. So much so that they account for more than 8 million visits to emergency rooms each year. Among the most common injuries reported from falls such as these are broken bones or dislocated joints, head injuries, and sprained muscles.

These type accidents are most commonly caused by a floor surface not having been adequately cleaned or properly maintained. Anywhere where moisture or debris can accumulate, or flooring is either damaged or not brought up to code, are perhaps the most dangerous.

Common Slip and Fall Hazard Areas

Areas with the highest potential of an injury occurring include food prep areas, pool surrounds, in and around leaking ceilings or A/Cs, on stairs, ramps, or any areas with uneven flooring or pavement, and in restrooms. Lobbies, where large numbers of people may mingle or engage in horseplay, are places of concern as well.

Many of these areas, unless routinely inspected, can become hazardous. Lawsuits may result that are waged against a negligent landlord, contractors, staff, manufacturers of flooring, or anyone else deemed to share in the responsibility for a fall and injuries sustained.

Proving Landlord Negligence

In proving negligence, the burden falls on the injured individual to prove that the landlord's negligence contributed to one's injuries. Cases in which there are signs, documented efforts made to either improve or maintain an environment, may be indicative of a landlord doing one's part to not be negligent.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be eligible to receive damages for injuries sustained. In reviewing your case with a Maryland personal injury attorney, he or she can advise you of your rights as it relates to filing a claim.

Source: RentPrep, "Landlord's Guide to Slip and Fall Accidents - Part I," Jennifer Maughan, accessed Jan. 27, 2017