Whether you live in a condo or apartment complex, property managers and landlords have a duty to ensure a reasonable level of care is taken to keep you safe. This applies to all aspects of your home and the shared areas whether it is related to injuries or assaults. Here is what you need to know about apartment/condo complex negligence.
Apartment & Condo Complex Liability
In theory, property owners including landlords and condo corporations are responsible for injuries that occur on their property. However, there are many considerations that come into play when it comes to apartment/condo complex negligence. The courts will look at the following factors when deciding if your landlord or condo corporation is liable in the case of injuries or assaults including:
- What you were doing at the time the injury occurred
- Whether or not you know the assailant in the case of an assault
- Whether or not you were not being careful to protect yourself from injury
- Whether the accident was foreseeable
- Whether reasonable efforts were made to maintain the property
- Whether reasonable efforts were made to warn tenants and visitors of existing dangers
All of these factors help establish if property owner negligence was the cause of your accident.
Examples of Apartment/Condo Negligence
There are many examples of when a property owner would be found negligent following an accident. This might include:
- Improper lighting
- Lack of a handrail on staircases
- Poor elevator maintenance
- Obstacles in halls or stairways
- Damaged carpeting or flooring
- Damaged walkways
- Poorly lit parking garages
- Broken locks on apartment doors or main entry point to the building
- Leaving equipment at work sites such as ladders
- Failure to repair uneven surfaces
Property owners must ensure their tenants or residents are safe including being compliant with building codes, having properly accessible exits in case of fire, safe electrical and plumbing, and more.
What Lease Agreements Should Include
In Texas, landlords have a duty to repair or remedy a situation when:
- A tenant notifies the landlord of special conditions requiring repairs
- A tenant is up to date with their payments when they send notice of the issues
- The condition of the area affects the physical health or safety of the tenant
- Hot water is not provided with a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Unfortunately, it is up to the tenant to provide proof the landlord failed to repair or remedy a condition.
Common Types of Injuries That Deserve Compensation
If you suffer from any form of injury from broken bones to head injuries and spinal cord injuries to mental and physical injuries following an assault, you deserve compensation. Although some landlord’s insurance covers your injuries automatically, you should never settle before speaking to a personal injury attorney to advise you on your claim.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
When an owner or landlord is negligent, they are liable for your injuries. However, in order to collect compensation, it is up to you to prove their negligence. A personal injury lawyer will investigate the case and help prove negligence based on the following:
- The property owner or employees were aware a hazard existed by did not make repairs or provide a warning
- The area where the injury occurred posed an obvious risk; or
- The property owner or employees created hazards by either failing to maintain the building, failure to post warnings, failing to clean up spills, etc.
You also have to prove you were not at fault. Your lawyer can help establish you used due care and were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, did not have the benefit of warning signs, and were walking in a responsible manner, i.e. not using the stairs on a skateboard.