Common Injury Claims in Apartment Complexes
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Pius Joseph with Law Offices of Pius Joseph.
Apartment homes are a popular living choice for many people, especially those who live in crowded or expensive urban areas. While apartment homes share many similarities to houses, they also have their differences, particularly in regard to potential injuries and liability. Some injuries are more common than others in apartment complexes, and the person considered legally responsible can also vary.
Common injuries sustained in apartment complexes include but are not limited to the following:
- Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injuries
- Negligent maintenance injuries (i.e. missing railings, broken staircases, icy walkways, appliances etc.)
- Toxic exposure injuries (i.e. lead, asbestos, mold etc.)
- Smoke inhalation
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Negligent security injuries (i.e. muggings, theft, assault, etc.)
Parties who might be liable for the above injuries may include:
- Property owner or landlord. The property owner or landlord is required to account for the basic safety of their residents as far as they are reasonably able to. This means providing a safe environment from the get-go, as well as checking in and addressing safety concerns as they arise.
- Property management company. It is not at all uncommon for property owners and landlords to hire property management companies to oversee one or more of their complexes. In this situation, the property management company and property managers may be considered liable if an injury occurs due to some kind of negligence on their part.
- Maintenance provider. When unsafe conditions are noted in an apartment complex, the property managers will often hire outside maintenance providers to correct the problem. If a maintenance provider does not adequately correct the problem and someone is injured as a result, the provider could be considered liable.
- Other residents. Although not particularly common, even other residents in an apartment complex could be liable. Whenever a resident’s actions cause direct harm to another resident or visitor, a legal case could be had. Examples of this may include when a resident ignores the apartment’s fire safety rules and starts a fire that injures or damages another person or their unit. If a resident assaults another resident, they may also be considered liable, even if the apartment’s negligent security measures allowed the attack to occur.
Property owners owe a legal duty of care to their residents and visitors.
Property management companies that run apartment complexes are required to account for the basic safety of their residents and visitors. This means that maintenance requests which could result in dangerous situations for residents must be addressed in a timely and adequate manner. Similarly, even if a request was not made but the problem should reasonably have been noticed, the property management company could still be considered liable.
An apartment complex is also required to provide reasonable security measures in the interest of resident safety; if someone is injured on the property due to criminal activity as a direct result of a lack of security, the complex could be facing a negligent security lawsuit. If you or a loved one have been injured at an apartment complex, reach out to a premises liability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.