As a tenant, you have the right to a safe living environment, including the exterior and communal areas of your rental property. If you tripped and fell on exterior stairs and suffered injuries, you may be able to hold your landlord responsible for the cost of your injuries.
The Michigan premises liability lawyers at Fieger Law can help if you tripped and fell on your landlord’s property due to a hazardous condition. We will review your case to determine their liability and help you seek compensation for the damages you suffered in the accident.
Landlord Duties to Tenants
In Michigan, property owners and landlords are subject to premises liability law, which holds them responsible for maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition for tenants and visitors.
When a landlord fails to maintain the property, and someone is injured, the landlord may be held legally responsible for the injured party’s damages. They are responsible for the following to keep the property free of hazards:
- Regular property inspections
- Proper maintenance
- Adequate exterior lighting
- Addressing broken or uneven stairs
- Security measures
- Compliance with building codes
- Providing safe and habitable living conditions
- Responding to tenant complaints
If you were injured due to a landlord’s negligence, speak with the slip and fall accident attorneys at Fieger Law. We can look for evidence of your landlord’s failure to maintain the property to help you obtain a settlement for your damages.
When are Landlords Liable for Tenant Injuries on a Staircase?
Landlord liability depends on whether the staircase is a common area or the tenant’s exclusive area. Additionally, in most cases a hazardous condition must exist to establish liability, such as one or more of the following:
- Wobbly or missing handrails: Unstable or missing handrails can cause a tenant to lose balance and fall down the stairs, resulting in severe injuries.
- Uneven steps or stairs: Stairs with uneven treads, risers, or disrepair can cause tripping hazards.
- Slippery surfaces due to ice or snow: Snow and ice buildup on common area exterior staircases can lead to serious slip and fall injuries like broken bones or traumatic brain injuries when tenants enter or leave their apartments.
- Poor lighting or broken steps: Insufficient lighting can make it challenging for tenants to navigate staircases, especially at night. Broken steps can also pose tripping hazards.
- Loose or damaged carpet or tiling: Loose or damaged carpet or tiling on communal stairs creates tripping hazards, leading to injuries like sprains, broken bones, or knee damage.
An attorney from Fieger Law can investigate your staircase injury to determine if a hazardous condition was present. Then they can help you hold the landlord accountable for failing to address the issue and causing your injury.
Elements of a Premises Liability Claim
To hold a landlord liable for a tenant’s injuries on communal staircases, you must prove that the landlord was negligent. Negligence means that the landlord knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it.
Proving negligence requires establishing the following elements:
- Duty: The landlord had a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition.
- Breach: The landlord breached this duty by failing to take reasonable steps to fix the hazardous condition.
- Causation: The landlord’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered damages as a result of your injuries.
To establish a breach of duty, you must show that the landlord had actual or constructive notice of the hazardous condition. Constructive notice means that the hazardous condition existed for a sufficient period of time and that the landlord should have discovered it through regular inspections or maintenance.
You and your attorney from Fieger Law may have to provide evidence such as witness statements, maintenance records, or photographs. These documents can show that the landlord knew or should have known about the hazard and that their lack of action caused your injuries.
Contact Us to Learn if You Can Sue Your Landlord for Your Staircase Injury
Proving negligence can be challenging, but a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and build a strong case. Fieger Law has extensive experience representing tenants in premises liability cases, including those involving injuries on exterior and communal staircases.
Our team of dedicated attorneys can help you investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with your landlord’s insurance company to secure fair compensation for your injuries.
If you have been injured due to a hazardous condition on your rental property, contact Fieger Law today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.