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A tenant or guest injured inside or outside a rental property might collect compensation from the landlord. Landlord responsibility for injury victims is not automatic. Financial accountability depends on the facts of any given situation, but the legal concept of premises liability does apply to landlords. They must keep a property in a habitable condition and address hazards so that people can occupy the space with a reasonable expectation of safety. Over the years, failures regarding this duty have empowered personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas to recover damages resulting from a landlord’s neglect.

Premises Liability

You probably possess a general idea of what premises liability is. This legal doctrine awards damages to slip-and-fall victims. The typical victim scenario is an unsuspecting customer who slips on a wet floor at a grocery store where food or drink is spilled. A company running a store has a legal duty to keep the location safe enough for people to walk about. When the entity in charge of the property does not warn people about dangers or fix them, liability for accidents becomes a reality.

Although landlords have the same obligation, their situation differs somewhat from operating a business open to the public. Unlike a store manager who has nearly constant control of an entire property and can be expected to monitor its condition continually, landlords frequently have limited access to significant portions of their properties. Except for periodic inspections or entering rental units to conduct repairs, landlords generally do not enter people’s rental homes for weeks, months, or even whole years.

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For this reason, landlords may not be responsible for accidents inside your rental unit unless their maintenance failures caused your injury. When injury lawyers Las Vegas review tenant accidents, they will consider questions like:

  • Did the landlord know about the problem that caused the accident?
  • Did the landlord have control of the area where the accident happened?
  • Could anyone have foreseen that the issue could have been dangerous?
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The question of whether a landlord knew about a problem is very important. If, for example, you had informed the landlord about a broken grab bar in your bathtub, then the landlord is far more likely to face liability when you fall in the bath. If you did not tell the landlord about the broken grab bar and then fell, you will likely be seen as responsible for your accident. However, even if you did not inform the landlord or property manager about the problem, your injury might have been caused by shoddy workmanship when the bath was installed. Then the landlord could arguably be responsible for your medical bills and other losses.

Personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas Nevada work through these types of questions. An attorney will investigate what happened and see if the facts point to liability for the landlord.

The hazard in the bathroom example also applies to whether a landlord had control of the area. For the most part, a landlord will only know about a hazard inside your rental home if you provide notice. On the other hand, a landlord is much more easily held accountable for external property hazards. Broken porch steps, a sagging roof, or uneven sidewalk are easily visible, and a landlord should make an ongoing effort to notice and correct obvious safety hazards around a property.

Landlord Responsibility for Injuries in Common Areas

Many apartment communities contain common areas, such as:

  • Pools
  • Playgrounds
  • Fitness centers
  • Laundry rooms
  • Lobbies
  • Stairwells
  • Recreation centers
  • Picnic areas
  • Parking areas and structures
  • Mailrooms
  • Elevators

From a legal standpoint, the property owner or manager bears the bulk of responsibility for maintaining common areas. Tenants will not see it as their role to make repairs in common areas.

In regards to common areas, landlords are obligated to:

  • Build and maintain properties in compliance with local codes
  • Inspect property regularly
  • Repair hazards as they arise
  • Place warning signs or tape around dangers
  • Warn tenants about hazards
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Tenants, or other people on the property lawfully, who suffer injuries from hazards in common areas could likely hold the landlord accountable. Ignoring necessary repairs, violating building codes, and failing to warn people are all things that could result in liability for the property owner.

Even when you appear to be the victim of a landlord’s negligence in a common area, you should not presume that your legal position is immune to counterarguments. Depending on the situation, a landlord might try to place some or all blame on the victim. Issues like drinking or hosting a party could potentially inspire a landlord’s insurer or lawyer to challenge your claim for damages. Representation from an accident attorney in Las Vegas could help you withstand any legal attacks of this nature.

Duty to Provide Habitable Rental Housing

In Nevada, like many places, the law specifically tells landlords to maintain rental units so that they are habitable. At a minimum, habitability requires:

  • Drinking water supply in compliance with code
  • Plumbing and electrical in compliance with code
  • Weather-proof building exterior
  • Structurally sounds walls, floors, and ceilings

A property owner or manager who ignores tenant complaints or notices from a city inspector regarding habitability could end up paying for your monetary losses. Injury lawyers in Las Vegas look for evidence of code failures and ignore complaints when pursuing compensation for victims. Violations of health and building codes represent illegal acts that can allow you to accuse a landlord of negligence per se. This reduces the evidentiary burden of proving fault.

Landlord Safety Obligations to Children

Reasonable care is the standard that landlords must observe when maintaining properties. It leaves some leeway because people may not have time to notice a problem or anticipate an extraordinarily freakish accident.

Keeping an area safe for children, however, raises the legal bar. To improve safety, landlords typically fence in pools, install playground equipment that meets safety standards, and place speed bumps in parking lots and driveways.

How Does a Tenant Win a Personal Injury Claim Against a Landlord?

An injury case founded upon premises liability must present evidence proving:

  • The defendant owns or controls the rental property.
  • The injured person was on the property with the landlord’s consent.
  • A dangerous condition existed.
  • The landlord knew about or caused the dangerous condition.
  • The dangerous condition directly caused the injury.

Consult An Accident Attorney Las Vegas

Landlords should have insurance coverage to compensate injured tenants. An accident attorney Las Vegas can investigate the cause of the injury and identify applicable insurance policies. If you have been hurt at a rental property and suspect that a landlord’s negligence is to blame, contact Moss Berg Injury Lawyers. Our firm only represents injury victims and has a strong track record of recovering money from negligent parties. Schedule a free consultation with us today.

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