If you live in an apartment complex in Hopkinsville, it is likely you share common areas with other tenants. Common areas in apartment complexes are often maintained by the landlord.
Unfortunately, this maintenance can be haphazard or even non-existent. If your landlord does not keep up common areas, and this lack of maintenance causes you to slip and fall, could you pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your landlord?
Landlord’s duty to maintain
Kentucky statutes state that landlords have a duty to keep common areas clean and safe for tenants. This means that common areas should not:
- Have bunched-up or torn carpeting
- Have cracks in sidewalks, parking lots or walkways
- Have broken handrails on staircases outside of the tenants’ units, and
- Be free of standing water and debris
The above circumstances could pose a danger to residents who might slip, trip or fall. Such accidents could easily lead to head injuries, back injuries and broken bones.
Landlord’s liability for slip-and-falls
Just because a common area is unsafe does not mean the landlord is automatically responsible for a tenants’ injuries. Landlords who retain common premises must use ordinary care to keep the common premises reasonably safe.
Those injured in slip-and-fall accidents in their apartment complex’s common areas must prove the landlord was negligent. Negligence means the landlord had a duty to the tenant that was breached, which caused the tenant’s injuries, and the injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the breach.
For landlords to breach their duty of care, it generally must be proven that the landlord either was aware or should have been aware that something about the common area at issue was dangerous. Landlords might also breach their duty of care if they caused the hazard in the common area that led to the tenant’s injuries.
It might seem like negligence is straightforward when you are injured in a common area in your apartment complex due to a hazard therein, but proving negligence is not as easy as it may seem. There are many nuances in the law that most people are not familiar with.
Still, tenants injured in slip-and-fall accidents in common areas of their apartment complex might have a personal injury case they should not give up on pursuing especially if they have help in understanding how the law applies to their specific situation.