Landlords Are Only Required to Take Reasonable Safety Precautions

Some injuries are unavoidable. Another tenant's dog might run out in front of you and cause you to trip and fall, and the landlord would not be responsible for any injuries that result. For this reason, the courts have certain requirements that must be met before your landlord can be held legally responsible.

Reasonable Requirements Placed on Landlords

Landlords are responsible for making sure that their tenants are safe. However, they do not have to take measures that are unreasonable, and the courts will take this into account when considering the liability of the landlord.

You may need to prove that there is something the landlord could have done to prevent your injuries. However, the defense might argue that these actions wouldn't have necessarily prevented your injuries. For example, if you become ill in your apartment, the landlord might argue that you became ill for a different reason or that your illness is associated with a pre-existing condition.

The Likelihood of an Injury

The conditions that lead to your injuries need to be conditions that would obviously cause your injuries. For example, if you tripped over a vacuum cleaner left behind by maintenance temporarily and suffered a serious head injury, this is an accident that was unlikely to happen and the landlord could not have predicted it. 

The Cost and Practicality of the Safety Measures

The safety measures that would have protected you must not be very expensive or impractical. For example, removing all electrical wiring from an apartment would prevent fires caused by electricity but would not be a practical solution. Even if you didn't use electricity, the cost of removing electrical wiring for one tenant would be prohibitively high.

Landlords Have No Excuse to Be Negligent

Some landlords are unfortunately very neglectful toward their tenants and will not promptly fix their damaged apartments. However, you will need help from a personal injury attorney to gather substantial evidence to prove that the apartment was left in an unsafe condition for an extended period and that something would have been done by a reasonable landlord. 

You will also need to prove that you were not partially at fault for the accident. Otherwise, under comparative negligence, you may have your settlement reduced. For example, if you are found to be 25% at fault for the accident, you may only receive a fraction of the settlement you would otherwise receive for your injuries.