Unsafe Floors: What To Do If You're Injured In Your Rental Apartment

Law Blog

If the floor in your rental apartment caved in and injured you, you may wonder if it's okay to file a personal injury case against your landlord. If your landlord neglected to repair the floor in a timely manner, you may have a case. Before you file your claim with a personal injury attorney, you'll need to obtain or do a few things first, including these below.

Obtain Pictures of the Floor and Apartment

If you took pictures or videos of your apartment's damaged floor prior to your accident, obtain them now. You also want to take new pictures and videos of the floor. These types of evidence can show the condition of the floor before and after your incident. If your landlord lies and says that they repaired the floor prior to your accident, the pictures can show that they didn't do so in a timely manner. 

In addition, the images may also reveal why the floor collapsed or caved in. Floors can collapse if they become weakened by moisture, rot, or insects. These conditions can cause the floor's boards to break under pressure. If you fall through the damaged flooring, you can potentially fracture a bone or suffer skin tears, bruises, and abrasions.

After you obtain your pictures and videos, compile a list of people who knew or know about the damaged floor.

Compile a List of Witnesses

If some of your relatives and friends noticed the damage in the floor prior to your accident, you want to document it. You can do so by asking each person to write down the times they noticed the problem and when. You also want to have some of your neighbors come in and witness the condition of the floor. You can use your neighbors or other third parties as backup witnesses for your claim.

Unlike your close friends and family, your neighbors may not have any stakes in your personal injury case. Even your neighbors didn't witness or see the floor before your accident, they can verify the floor's condition after your accident.

It's important to obtain the names, contact numbers, and other information from your neighbors right away. Keep the information in a secure folder until an attorney requests it. If any of your neighbors refuse to provide their personal information to you, don't pursue it. Your landlord may tell a personal injury court that you bullied your neighbors into giving you the information. You may potentially lose your case as a result.

After you obtain the information above, locate and retrieve any communications you had with your landlord.

Retrieve Letters and Other Communications

If you mailed, emailed, or texted letters to your landlord about the dangerous floor prior to your accident, retrieve the communications now and place them inside a file. An attorney may use the communications as evidence for your case. If your landlord states that they never knew about the bad floor, the letters and texts may show otherwise.

If your landlord sends letters or texts after your accident, place them inside your file. Don't allow your landlord to enter your apartment without written notice. The individual may see the file and remove it without your permission.

If your landlord decides to negotiate a settlement for your injuries to avoid going to court, have them contact the personal injury attorney representing you. An attorney will view the settlement offer and help you decide if it's fair or unfair. If the settlement isn't fair, an attorney will continue with your case.

To find more details about your potential case, contact a personal injury lawyer for an appointment.


26 January 2018