June 26, 2022

Volume XII, Number 177

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June 24, 2022

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Proving Liability Against Apartment Buildings

Apartment complexes are littered with negligence and potential lawsuits. As such, many claims are often filed on behalf of tenets and guests of residents of an apartment complex.

You do not have to be a resident to file a claim. Guests visiting for work-related reasons are entitled to filing claims that can often lead to large settlements, too.

In many cases, landlords are not the only wrongdoers. Property managers, maintenance workers, contractors, and snow removal personnel can all be held liable. A top-rated attorney will investigate all parties involved within apartment management.

Injuries that occur on apartment complex grounds include, but are not limited to:

  • Slip and fall in icy conditions;

  • Broken sidewalks;

  • Defective stairs and lack of handrails;

  • Negligent security;

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning;

  • Lead poisoning;

  • Fires and smoke inhalation, and lack of functioning detectors;

  • Elevator injuries;

  • Faulty decks and balconies;

  • Assaults by maintenance personnel.

There isn’t an immediate guarantee clients will be awarded a settlement if injured at an apartment complex. There are several items to gather and beware of. For instance, an insurance adjuster may contact you regarding their investigation of the incident.

It’s important to be wary of an insurance adjuster’s motives. That phone call can legally be held against you as a piece of evidence in court and could wreck any chance of reaching a settlement. That is why hiring an attorney can be a wise decision.

Before filing a claim, the injured party should capture as much evidence and information as possible. These items range from photos and videos of the injury and the surrounding area, and incident reports. For instance, if you fell as a result of a broken handrail, take a photo.

Another key area to help support your claim is to establish the nature of the error. Any document, email, or recorded conversation with the apartment operators can substantially boost your odds of reaching a settlement. Also, complaints from other tenants are often helpful in supporting your claim that a hazard existed. This information can help prove the apartment building knew or should have known, about the hazardous conditions.

Most states have statutory rights to tenants, which can be proven as strict liability. You can be compensated for several types of damages, including pain and suffering, loss of earnings from work, and medical bills. However, the injured person must be able to prove that an injury occurred due to the apartment operator’s negligence.

Key Takeaways

  • Landlords are not the only parties held liable for injuries to tenants.

  • Be extremely cautious of investigators who contact you.

  • Capture evidence of the hazardous area through incident reports, photos, or videos.

  • Obtain your medical records to prove that the injury happened.

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 145
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About this Author

Larry Buckfire Personal Injury Attorney Buckfire Law
President and Attorney

Lawrence J. Buckfire (Larry Buckfire) earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan in 1986 and his juris doctor degree from Wayne State University School of Law in 1989. He has been in private practice since successfully completing the bar exam in 1989. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan, State of Ohio, and in the United States District Court.

Lawrence is the lead trial attorney and managing partner at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.  The law firm was founded in 1969 by his father David Buckfire with the principle of representing...

(855) 365-5999
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