Premises liability is a complex thing. Many people think if they slip and fall and someone else owns the property, the owner is automatically responsible. This isn’t necessarily true. Accidents on other people’s property require proving responsibility and negligence, and this can be tricky if it’s a place where you’re living. Learn how slip and fall accidents apply to you and your landlord if you fall in your apartment building, and how a Chattanooga premises liability lawyer can help you collect damages.
Premises liability refers to the duty of care people have towards those who visit their home, place of business, or property. In your own house, apartment or place of work, you have a duty to behave responsibly and provide a reasonably safe environment for those who visit. This means that, for example, if there’s snow and ice outside your home, you have a responsibility to clean it up promptly, or at least to provide a warning about the danger.
Failure to remedy dangerous situations means that the property owner, resident or manager could be held liable for injuries suffered on that property. This means that inside your own apartment, you can be responsible for the safety of your guests.
Liability and the Landlord
This concept extends to your landlord. Consider the example of snow and ice, above. If you are walking up to your apartment and you slip and fall on ice, can you sue your landlord? This depends on several factors:
- How recent was the snow or ice storm that caused the hazard?
- Did your landlord know about it?
- Has there been adequate time for the landlord to fix it, following notification?
- Was the landlord responsible for removing it in the first place?
Let’s look at these factors. If the snow and ice just fell a few hours ago, your landlord couldn’t have possibly had time to clear it yet, so your landlord wouldn’t be liable. Has it been there for days, and you’ve let your landlord know, but they still haven’t addressed the issue? If so, you might have a case. Of course, it’s all moot if it’s in your lease that snow and ice removal are your responsibility.
When You’re Responsible
What if you have a gathering, and one of your guests trips on a loose floorboard in your home, hurting themselves? If you knew about the danger, told your landlord, and after a reasonable time no effort has been made to fix it, they could be held responsible. If, on the other hand, you didn’t warn your guests about the danger, you could also potentially be responsible.
Chattanooga Premises Liability Lawyer
Since premises law is so complex with such a range of possibilities, when you get hurt and think you deserve compensation, it’s essential to secure the services of a Chattanooga premises liability lawyer. Only a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney will know how to gather the right evidence and prove you deserve compensation. For a free case evaluation and more information, call the attorneys at McMahan Law Firm today.