Slip and Falls at Apartment Complexes
If you slip and fall at an apartment complex and are injured, you may be able to hold the property owner or landlord responsible. However, these cases are complex, and typically property owners put up a strong defense or control much of the evidence. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Los Angeles slip and fall lawyers understand how to approach a lawsuit to maximize a victim’s chances of a good recovery for their injuries.Slip and Falls at Apartment Complexes
Slip and falls at apartment complexes may sound minor, but they can result in complex fractures, traumatic brain injuries, or even spinal cord damage. Just because you slipped and fell does not mean that the property owner is automatically liable to pay for your injuries. Each accident is different, and the circumstances can alter whether a court will impose liability.
You will need to prove liability by showing that the property owner or operator was negligent. That is, you will need to show that the defendant owned or controlled the property, the defendant was negligent in how it utilized or kept the property, you were harmed, and the defendant's negligence was a significant reason for your injuries.
Part of this is showing that the property owner had actual or constructive notice of the condition that caused your slip and fall. For example, if you slipped and fell on a spilled liquid in the courtyard of an apartment complex that you were visiting, you would need to show that the owner of the complex knew or should have known about it. Without proof of actual or constructive notice of the condition, you may not be able to recover damages. Often, constructive notice is shown by how long the condition existed. If the condition that caused you to slip lasted for weeks, you likely can show constructive notice. However, if it was just there for an hour, that may not be enough time to show that the landlord should have known about it and either fixed it or put up warning signs.
This analysis is more complicated if you are a tenant in the apartment complex. If you are a tenant, and there is a leak in your own apartment, you would likely need to notify the landlord of this problem. If you then slipped and fell, there would be a few different issues that would need clarification. One potential defense that may be raised is that the condition that caused your fall was "open and obvious" or that you were comparatively negligent.
On the other hand, if the slip and fall occurs outside your apartment, such as on exterior steps that you do not routinely traverse, you may not be aware of the dangerous condition. Like other visitors who experience a slip and fall, you will need to show actual or constructive notice to the landlord. The landlord may try to defend on the ground that the danger was open and obvious. In California, if a dangerous property condition is so apparent that you could reasonably be expected to notice it, a property owner does not need to warn you about it. Instead, the condition itself gives the warning, and the property owner is not obligated to fix the problem or give any warnings. However, this inquiry can be more nuanced, and courts do look at the evidence and the circumstances to determine whether your decision to encounter the problem was appropriate.
For example, if you had no other way of leaving the apartment complex than by using steps with a slippery orange substance on them, the landlord could be held liable even though you clearly saw the substance. Therefore, your attorney will need to show that your injury was foreseeable, so the landlord owed a duty to clean up whatever caused your slip and fall or provide warnings.Consult a Los Angeles Lawyer to Pursue Damages in a Premises Liability Claim
If you were injured in a slip and fall at an apartment complex in Los Angeles that you believe was somebody else's fault, you should consult an attorney. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced attorneys can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine whom to hold accountable for your injuries. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form. We also represent injured people in Temecula, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and Riverside.