A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Slip & Fall Accidents Part 4: Slippery Floors-Residential Apartment Buildings
In this final part of the series, “A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Slip & Fall Accidents,” we will discuss some of the issues relating to slip and fall accidents that occur in residential apartment buildings.
Who can be held liable in such cases will depend on a number of factors:
- Where did the accident happen – in a common area (such as a lobby or hallway), or inside a tenant’s apartment?
- Who was injured – a tenant or visitor?
- How did the slippery condition come about? For example: Was a wet hallway floor caused by a leaking roof, or did an outside janitorial company wax the floor and fail to put up any warning signs, or did the injured person slip on an area rug inside a tenant’s apartment?
Once the responsible parties have been identified, it will be necessary to prove negligence. Landlords are required by state and/or local housing codes to conduct regular inspections and make repairs as needed to maintain the property in a safe condition for tenants and others (e.g., tenants’ guests). However, a landlord would not be liable for injuries resulting from falling on a slippery floor caused by a ceiling leak inside a tenant’s apartment, unless it can be shown that the landlord had been given notice of the leak and had a reasonable amount of time to fix it. The landlord’s duty to inspect does not extend to the interior of leased apartments. If it was the tenant who was injured, the question of contributory negligence arises – was the tenant aware of the leak and should he or she have avoided walking in that area? All of these issues are best sorted out with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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As you can imagine, any number of circumstances can cause a dangerously slippery condition to exist, and the details of every case are different. If you have been injured in a fall, gather as much information as possible (take photos, identify witnesses, the landlord, and anyone else who might be involved, make notes of any details that you think might have a bearing on the situation) and contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to see if you have a legal claim for damages.