A home should be a safe haven — someplace to relax and feel safe from the stresses of the day. When something breaks or becomes unsafe inside or outside your home, you repair it so nobody becomes injured. But when you live in an apartment complex that’s owned by someone else, repairs may not be your responsibility. In fact, it may even be stated in your lease that you’re not permitted to make your own repairs.
But what happens if something breaks down in or around your building and you become injured as a result?
You may be able to file a claim against the owner of your building, forcing them to not only make the required repairs, but to compensate you for your injury as well. This can be tricky to prove if you didn’t think ahead and take the steps needed to leave a credible paper trail in your wake.
But what’s the best way to go about it?
The first link in the chain is to prove that you notified your landlord about the problem and for whatever reason, your warnings went unheeded. If you can prove that you told the owner about the problem and they chose to do nothing, which resulted in you being hurt, you may have a case. The best way to notify your landlord is to leave a solid paper trail behind. Send certified or registered letters with return receipts requested, and keep copies of all your correspondence.
If you’ve given ample notice concerning that loose carpeting on the stairs and no action to correct it has been taken, you should document your finding. Take photos or enlist the help of witnesses and written statements to make your case stronger. Of course, most of this may take place before you ever become injured, so it’s good to make a habit of documenting any problem that goes unattended.
If you become injured as a result of your building owner’s negligence, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. If you wait until the next day, the defendant could claim you injured yourself later. If you don’t seek treatment at all, your case will have no foundation on which to grow. If you’re going to sue for medical compensation, you must be able to provide proof of treatment. You can do this in several ways: Ask for copies of all your medical records pertaining to the event. This includes obtaining a copy of any reports filled out by police or emergency responders who tended you at the time of the incident. Keeping hard copies of your bills is also recommended, so your lawyer can see and provide proof of just how much the injury cost you monetarily.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
If you’re injured in a common area of your apartment complex, or if it isn’t clear whether your landlord is liable for your injury, you may have to deal with the insurance company instead of with the landowner. This is when it becomes imperative to hire an attorney to represent your side of the dispute. Many landlords will claim they’re not responsible when something like this happens. And in some cases, it’s the truth. If the owner, in good faith, had no idea there was a problem — if she hadn’t been notified and if she has a history of maintaining the building, she may not be accountable for your injury. If something that typically worked just suddenly and inexplicably broke down, for instance, she may not be at fault. But it’s really only a judge who should decide that.
If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of your building owner’s negligence, contact our law office today. We specialize in personal injury claims of this type. Whether you’re left dealing with the owner or his or her insurance company, we can help you get the justice you deserve in a timely fashion. Don’t ignore your pain by ignoring what happened. Contact us today or fill in our free case evaluation form for more details and we’ll schedule a friendly consultation to discuss your case in more detail. Don’t suffer in silence if you become injured due to someone else’s negligence.