Can I sue my landlord for medical bills? 41 Answers as of June 10, 2013

I fell through a missing rusted-out stair on the stairwell that leads to my 2nd floor apartment. This missing stair had been broken and missing for over 2 weeks. The stair initially was marked with multiple signs indicating that it was missing and to be careful; however, after a rainstorm and the passing of roughly 7-9 days, the signs blew away and there had been no notice, no signs of any kind, which I took pictures to show, of the stair being missing and the dangerous conditions on the stairwell. This lasted for roughly one week, it was a very dangerous situation that could of easily been fixed by calling a contractor to weld the stair back on, instead I incurred a personal injury in the amount of roughly $3,000. The reason that I believe this is extremely negligent is because I live in a building with only a handful of tenants, one of them happens to be my landlord. Because the landlord's apartment is located on the first floor they need not go up the dangerous stairwell, however they walk right by, within 2 feet of the stairwell on a daily basis. They could of easily put additional signs up, fixed the stair, or roped it off and had me stay at a hotel. There were many options that the landlord had, yet none of them were taken and my injury, I believe is a cause of their negligence. The night I slipped into the missing stair hole, it was raining very hard, it was very dark, and I had a couple of bags I was trying to bring inside.

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Jones, Boykin, & Associates, P.C.
Jones, Boykin, & Associates, P.C. | Noble L. Boykin, Jr.
The answer to your inquiry is, yes, you can sue for your medical bills as well as for any other damages which you have incurred, including physical and mental pain and suffering, any resulting disability, loss of income and other resulting damage. The usual rule is that if you are on notice of a defect in the premises and are hurt as a result of that defect, you cannot recover damages from the owner. However, the rule is different if you live on the premises. Under such circumstances you may file a claim or a suit against the landlord which would implicate the Landlord's liability insurance coverage, if any. In short, by virtue of the rule of "necessity" you had no choice but to continue to use the leased premises, and as such, you would not be barred from recovery of damages even though you knew of the defect prior to your injury. Because your landlord also knew of the danger but did nothing to repair or remedy the defect, he would be subject to a claim for all damages sustained, including medical bills.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/1/2011
Riley Law Firm
Riley Law Firm | Timothy Dennis Riley
You can sue the landlord for your damages. You have 2 years from the occurrence in question to file a suit on a timely basis. You should retain competent Texas legal counsel to assist you in prosecuting your claim.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/21/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Wow. This is a heinous case. I think your landlord could be in very big trouble for this, and I think a jury would love to punish him. You should get an attorney immediately so that they can make a claim against the landlord's insurance, and if necessary, put a notice of litigation on any property he owns. Landlords can be particularly slimy when it comes to avoiding lawsuits.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/18/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
It sounds from your rendition of facts that you have a good case against the property owner / manager. Your landlord may have been the negligent person, but he or she likely doesn't have the money to pay you. Thankfully you should be able to sue the owner and or management company because they are ultimately responsible for the repair and maintenance. The will also likely be covered by an insurance policy. These are usually pretty good cases and in Oregon the owner is basically strictly liable for your injury.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/15/2011
Van Sant & Slover LLC
Van Sant & Slover LLC | David Van Sant
The LL may be liable if the LL had superior knowledge of the defective condition. You need to contact a lawyer immediately.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/15/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    You can sue your landlord for more than that if you can prove he/she was negligent and the negligence caused your fall. You would have to show that there was a dangerous condition that the landlord knew about or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about. It would appear from the information below that the facts are there to support a case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy | Garrett S. Handy
    Yes, your landlord may be liable for failing to maintain and repair the stairs. Its an important fact that the landlord was on notice of the missing/broken stair and had even posted sign. Certainly, the landlords insurance company will try and blame you by saying that you also knew a dangerous condition existed, and that you should have been more careful. However, you had no choice, and had to cross the stairs in order to get to your apartment.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Yes .
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You have a very good claim against your landlord and the property owner.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Kline Law Offices P.C.
    Kline Law Offices P.C. | Robert C. Kline Jr.
    Yes, you can. It appears that you have a viable claim under the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    You can pursue a claim against your landlord. This would be a premises liability case. If you havent already, notify the landlord as to what happened, and ask him to notify his insurance company. An adjustor from the insurance company should then contact you to get a statement as to what happened and get copies of all your medical bills. The insurance company may then either negotiate a settlement with you or deny your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Idiart Law Group
    Idiart Law Group | Justin Idiart
    Yes, you can sue your landlord for your injury. Your landlord has a duty to keep the premises safe. We would be happy to help with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Your Virginia personal injury situation presents an interesting issue. You can make a claim for your medical bills and for your other damages such as pain and suffering because you were injured as a result of condition that your landlord knew about and failed to repair. However, the big issue under Virginia law is contributory negligence. In Virginia, contributory negligence is a complete bar to recovery. The condition was one that you knew about and it was open and obvious. As you note, it was dark and rainy when you were injured and you were carrying some bags. Will these facts be enough to get around a defense of contributory negligence? An experienced injury attorney can help develop the facts and determine what the likelihood of success is given the situation. I think the issue is probably one for a jury to determine.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    It sounds like you have a case. Any property owner is responsible for maintaining common areas free of dangerous conditions. What constitutes a dangerous condition is a question of fact that is ultimately determined by a jury unless the case settles out of court (which most do). Certainly a missing stair is dangerous. You should speak to a personal injury lawyer in your area who can help guide you through the process. Good luck,
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I believe once you had notice of the dangerous condition you cannot maintain you did not know of the defect which is one of the elements of a slip and fall claim. However, if you were forced to negotiate the area (there was no other way into the residence) then I do believe you could have a claim. I would see a local lawyer who does this type of work for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. The only issue that I see is the issue of open and obvious and/or negligence on your part in stepping into a known danger. If you are in Alabama you can call me or check out our website. fergusonferguson.com The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You can bring a claim against your landlord for personal injuries like that, but if you knew the stair was missing, there would be a high degree of comparative negligence, or a judge may even rule that you can't bring the claim. Typically, in a premises liability situation like that, the owner of the premises usually has to have superior knowledge of the danger to the person injured....at least give a lawyer a call.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you. Thank you for your email, and we look forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If you did not know of the condition and fell you would seem to have a clear case. However you knew a lot about the problem . There is a rule of law that says that if a condition is open and obvious and you still fall into it then you may be said to be negligent yourself and therefore not able to receive benefits. Does the landlord have homeowners insurance? If so, make a claim with them and see how it goes.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Aaronson Law Firm
    Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
    You can sue for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, incapacity and several other elements. Texas has what is called "comparative responsibility " which means that a jury can weigh your negligence/fault against that of the apartment complex whatever percent of negligence attributed to you will act to reduce the amount of money they give you by that percentage. A jury may very well find you negligent to some degree simply because of the fact that you knew of the defect.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Contact a local plaintiff's accident and/or personal injury attorney who will help youto determine if the landlord/apartment owner was negligent.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you seek a lawyer in your area to discuss all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    they had knowledge of the defect and an opportunity to repair before your injury so that would be helpful to your claim. While you had notice if this is the only way for you to get access to your apartment then that may also help your claim The information contained in this email may be confidential and/or legally privileged. It has been sent for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). If the reader of this message is not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    You likely have a valid claim. You will have to deal with the defense of "open and obvious," as it sounds like you knew about the trouble in advance, but it sounds to me like you have a legitimate claim under the circumstances you describe.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    From the way you state the facts it sounds like you have a good case not only for your medical bills but also for pain and suffering and any lost income. The defense will argue from your facts that you were aware of the missing step and therefore you were at fault. But, overall I like your case.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I think that you have a great case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    Yes you can sue your landlord. It might make sense to discuss a rent abatement such that your landlord is not out $3,000 right away and you get cheaper rent for a period of time. If you come at your landlord like a ton of bricks he/she might drum up some excuse to evict you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Great case. As long as they are insured, you have a great liability case. It all depends on your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Yes you can sue but unless you have a significant injury $3,000 is too small for a lawyer to take the case. You may have to go to small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    It sounds like you have a claim for premises liability against the landlord. You should find an attorney to help you with your case, to make sure that you present it in a way that maximizes your recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There might be a case here. There are some issues as you were put on notice as to the condition but we may be able to handle that since the signs were not present when you were injured. So that is of some concern. We can investigate this further for you and see if we can put a case together.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn | H. Christopher Coburn
    It sounds like you have a decent case for your bills and for pain and suffering. On Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 5:09 PM, Question From LawQA wrote: > ANSWER A QUESTION THAT WILL BE DISPLAYED ON CALIFORNIA PERSONAL INJURY > WEBSITES ON THE LAWQA NETWORK. > > LAW AREA: PERSONAL INJURY > STATE: CALIFORNIA > ID:25889 > > Question: Can I sue my landlord for medical bills? > Question Detail: I fell through a missing rusted-out stair on the stairwell > that leads to my 2nd floor apartment. This missing stair had been broken and > missing for over 2 weeks. The stair initially was marked with multiple signs > indicating that it was missing and to be careful; however, after a rainstorm > and the passing of roughly 7-9 days, the signs blew away and there had been > no notice, no signs of any kind, which I took pictures to show, of the stair > being missing and the dangerous conditions on the stairwell. This lasted for > roughly one week, it was a very dangerous situation that could of easily > been fixed by calling a contractor to weld the stair back on, instead I > incurred a personal injury in the amount of roughly $3,000. The reason that > I believe this is extremely negligent is because I live in a building with > only a handful of tenants, one of them happens to be my landlord. Because > the landlord's apartment is located on the first floor they need not go up > the dangerous stairwell, however they walk right by, within 2 feet of the > stairwell on a daily basis. They could of easily put additional signs up, > fixed the stair, or roped it off and had me stay at a hotel. There were many > options that the landlord had, yet none of them were taken and my injury, I > believe is a cause of their negligence. The night I slipped into the missing > stair hole, it was raining very hard, it was very dark, and I had a couple > of bags I was trying to bring inside. > > *********************************** >
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Yes. You have a case but you need to call personal injury attorney
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You certainly have a claim for premises liability, but you will be criticized because you knew the hazard existed. The delay in rendering repairs will be in your favor though. Because you may share some fault (contributory negligence) a judge or jury may assign some portion of fault to you, which percentage will be a deduction from any damages awarded to you. One of the defenses in slip and fall cases is open and obvious hazards. But you have a good argument against that given the fact that it was night time, rainy and the signs had blown away. If you sue you will not only seek an award for your medical bills, but for pain, suffering and inconvenience as well, plus any loss of earnings if you missed any work because of your injury. I recommend you retain an attorney to pursue this claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You can sue your landlord in small claims for up to $7500 in damages. In addition to your medical bills you are entitled to recover for pain and suffering and lost wages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Yes and maybe for pain and suffering as well.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Yes you can. I would first determine if he has medical payments coverage under an insurance policy to help with your medical bills. You otherwise can file suit. The question will be what "notice" you had of the condition. It sounds like a lot. That will be raised as a defense and may diminish the value of your claim somewhat.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    The landlord has a duty to you under both the law of negligence and landlord tenant law to keep the premises safe. You have a duty to try to avoid hazards you know about. However, in this case the hazard may have been unavoidable. So yes, I think you have a claim against your landlord.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/14/2011
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