Many New Yorkers live in rented units in apartment buildings. Although landlords and property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that the premises they own are safe for tenants and their guests, some fail to do so. While a landlord is not automatically liable for every injury that a tenant sustains on their property, they can be held accountable for their own negligence. If you suffered injuries caused by your landlord’s failure to ensure a property reasonably free from hazards, you may be entitled to compensation.
Are Landlords Responsible for Defective Premises?
A landlord has a duty to keep the common areas of a building in good repair and free from known dangers, including both the inside and the outside of a complex. If a landlord or an agent of theirs knows — or should have known — about a defect and failed to repair it in a timely manner, they could be held liable for negligence if you suffered injuries as a result.
Broken floorboards in the lobby, defective elevators, icy walkways, poorly lit stairwells, and leaky roofs are just a few examples of hazards a landlord may be responsible for remedying.
Common areas that must be maintained and kept safe by the landlord or property owner include:
- Steps and stairwells
- The roof
- Laundry rooms
A landlord may also be liable for any injuries sustained by a tenant if a dangerous condition existed that could have caused foreseeable harm. For instance, if a landlord fails to make repairs to a faulty lock or install proper lighting in a stairwell, they may be responsible for injuries arising to a victim due to another’s criminal act.
In some cases, a landlord may be held accountable for injuries that occur inside an apartment unit. However, they may only be liable if you were hurt due to a problem with the building — such as those involving structural or electrical issues. They are not liable for dangerous conditions you created. If a landlord had notice of a defect in your unit for which they were responsible and failed to make repairs, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Compensation for Apartment Building Injuries
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may be eligible to recover various damages for injuries sustained in an apartment building accident. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover your economic damages — such as medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. You may also be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
In order to build a strong case and obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible, it’s crucial to ensure you document the accident. Evidence such as correspondence with the landlord, photos of the defect that caused your injury, security camera footage and statements from witnesses serve as critical pieces of evidence to demonstrate liability.
Importantly, your medical records will establish the extent of your injuries. It’s essential to follow through with your doctor’s treatment plan and to continue documenting your injuries throughout the course of your case. The more severe and limiting your injuries, the greater the compensation you may be entitled to recover.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a landlord or property owner, it’s best to have a personal injury lawyer on your side to recover the compensation you deserve. Due to our extensive experience handling premises liability cases and our broad scope of knowledge, we regularly obtain substantial verdicts and settlements in the millions for our clients.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the maximum compensation they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.