Laws governing landlord and tenant responsibilities and liability vary from state to state, but every state has premises liability laws that require landlords to provide a safe living space and maintain a safe environment for tenants and visitors. Landlords are responsible for maintaining safe common areas and ensuring individual units are safe before a tenant moves into the apartment complex or rental unit. What happens inside the tenant’s apartment after they move in is usually the tenant’s responsibility, unless the landlord’s faulty repair or poor workmanship caused the injury. In these cases, the landlord may be liable for the defect or negligence of property management staff and company employees. As a tenant, you have an obligation to report any damaged or broken equipment, dangerous condition, or potential health hazard to your landlord. Once you have notified the landlord of the problem, the landlord or management company should promptly resolve the problem. If they don’t and someone is injured, you have rights against the owner of the apartment complex or rental unit.
Landlords have a duty to their tenants to properly maintain common areas, warn of any hidden dangers they are aware of or should be aware of, and to make furnished units safe for short-term leases. In order to hold a landlord liable for an injury suffered at an apartment complex it must be proven that:
- The landlord had a duty to protect tenants from unreasonable harm.
- The landlord breached his or her duty by not fixing a dangerous condition on the property.
- The landlord had sufficient warning or should have known of the dangerous condition/problem.
- The injury was caused and was the direct result of the landlord’s negligence.
Under these circumstances, the tenant has rights against the landlord and property management company for damages:
- Past and Future Medical Bills
- Disability, Functional Limitations, Impairment or Disfigurement
- Emotional Distress and Diminished Quality of Life
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Earnings and Earning Capacity
- Personal Property Damage (anything damaged as a result of the landlord's negligence)
What should you do if you are injured at an apartment complex?
Knowing what to do after an injury at an apartment complex is pivotal in receiving the care you need. If you become injured at an apartment complex, take these immediate steps:
- Medical Attention: Seek medical attention without delay. Obtain a copy of the doctor’s report, take photos of your injuries, and document any medication necessary to treat your injury. Keep receipts, photos, and doctor’s notes. Your personal injury attorney will need this documentation if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Documentation: Write down the events and circumstances surrounding the accident in as much detail as possible. In cases involving snow and ice or where a structure (stairwell or railing) collapses, get photos of where the incident happened and what the scene looked like immediately following the event. In addition to seeking immediate medical attention, record any pain, decreased mobility, or inability to perform certain functions. This can be medical records, photos, journal entries, or other written records.
- Expenses: Keep detailed records of any expenses you incur as a result of your injury. This can include medical bills, lost wages, transportation and travel costs. The more accurate, detailed documentation you have regarding the incident, the easier it will be for your attorney to assess the amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
- Witness Information: If there were any witnesses to the accident which caused your injury, obtain the name, address, and contact information of the person or persons. Keep a record of any interaction or correspondence you have with witnesses. If you have any written complaints or emails to the landlord or property management company or its employee members then print these for safe keeping as evidence in your case. If someone approaches you about having a similar incident in the past or complaining to the landlord or property management company about a similar event or warning the people who take care of the property about a safety issue, then get this individual’s information to be interviewed by your lawyer in the future. This will help with the investigation into this incident. If a lawsuit or insurance claim is filed, eyewitness accounts can help corroborate your claim and provide an accurate picture of the incident.
Laws governing these types of accidents and injuries can be complicated. Insurance companies are notorious for getting people to accept low and unreasonable settlement offers, which is why it is best to have an attorney who is familiar with insurance companies and their tactics and knows the best arguments, Colorado case law, areas of compensable losses and calculated damages used to obtain a fair settlement for your injuries. The settlement amounts in these incidents often involve detailed analysis by the attorney to assess a variety of factors that can lead to a large recovery in your case. This includes past medical treatment, long-term future care, permanent functional impairment, lost income and earning potential, pain and suffering, chronic pain issues that lead to diminished quality of life and other expenses, losses and damages. Your attorney will take on the burden of dealing with the landlord’s insurance company and negotiating a fair settlement, and you can focus on getting the treatment you need to heal and get better.
Past Case Results
Our firm exclusively represents clients against insurance companies and big corporations in personal injury matters. At Whalen Injury Lawyers, we have successfully represented many accident victims over the years. Our goal is to establish a direct, meaningful, trusted and reliable relationship and secure a settlement that is fair and equitable. We will work closely with you to ensure that you are justly compensated for any loss suffered as a result of an injury in an apartment complex.
If you or a loved one have been injured at an apartment complex and are seeking a compassionate, experienced, personal injury attorney with a proven track record of success, give us a call. Whalen Injury Lawyers will fight for your best interests both in and out of the courtroom. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.
You can reach us in Denver at (720) 307-2666 or in Colorado Springs at (719) 644-7000 to learn more. Our offices are located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112, and in Colorado Springs in the Alamo Corporate Center located at 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100. We look forward to working with you.