Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, but they're a particular danger in apartment buildings when landlords don’t repair damaged equipment, broken stairs, or keep sidewalks cleared. If you were injured in a slip and fall at an apartment complex, you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. Here's what you need to know about protecting yourself legally and financially after an apartment building slip and fall.
Understanding Your Rights in an Apartment Building Slip and Fall Case
The first steps to take immediately after the fall are similar to any other accident. If you’re able, be sure to ask eyewitnesses for their contact info, notify the property owner of the fall, and then head to the ER for a full medical checkup.
When those basics are covered, your next step is to contact an attorney. You want an experienced Pennsylvania slip and fall lawyer to provide a free, no-obligation evaluation of your slip and fall case. It’s important to find out what options are available for covering your medical bills and loss of income while recovering from a fall caused by a negligent landlord. An attorney is particularly essential to your recovery for:
- Reviewing your rental lease agreement to determine if you or the building’s landlord are responsible for maintenance in the accident area.
- Proving the landlord was aware of a problem that could cause a fall, such as a broken rail, lack of lighting in a staircase, loose stairs, and so on.
- Demonstrating that the landlord or property owner behaved with negligence in some way that led to your injury, such as failing to address an obvious slip and fall hazard in a timely manner.
Common Falling Hazards and Risks in Philadelphia Apartment Buildings
Falling inside your specific apartment unit typically doesn’t present solid ground for a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, your landlord can’t be expected to clean up spills inside your kitchen. However, the building manager or property owner is responsible for keeping tenants and guests safe in other places, such as:
- Common outside areas
- Other public spots in the apartment complex
Injuries in those areas may be caused by anything from leaky pipes creating a clear slipping danger to frayed and torn rugs tripping up tenants as they walk.
In addition to finding the specific cause of your injury and proving where it occurred, you also need a paper trail on your medical issues. Your immediate post-accident medical exam is vital not only for your health, but also to document facts about the injury including, but not limited to:
- Back pain
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head wounds / traumatic brain injury
- Knee injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprained ankles or wrists
Recovering Financially After a Serious Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accident
If you’ve suffered any of those injuries, retaining an attorney isn’t just for investigating your accident and gathering the evidence necessary to argue your case. A lawyer is also needed for two crucial additional reasons: negotiating with the insurance company and accurately valuing your damages. An attorney acts as a buffer between you and insurance to protect you from common tactics that threaten to reduce your settlement significantly. Having a qualified slip and fall lawyer in your corner ensures either the insurance company or a jury is aware of the full value of your damages, including elements like:
- Estimated future expenses if the fall led to long-term disability and you’re expected to need further surgeries or treatments.
- Hospital bills, like the cost of an ambulance ride and ER stay, any in-patient services you required, and other expenses like surgery or occupational therapies.
- The income you lost out on due to recovering from the apartment building fall injury.
- Non-economic losses like loss of consortium, emotional suffering and embarrassment, or ongoing physical pain.
- Various out-of-pocket expenses incurred while seeking treatment for a fall injury.