If you're a renter, maintaining the roof over your head and the floor beneath your bed at night is the responsibility of your landlord. Unfortunately, not all landlords put the safety of their tenants above their bottom line. Here are some of the ways a personal injury lawyer can help you seek significant damages from a negligent landlord.
Deconstructing Your Rental Agreement
Most tenants don't read through their rental agreements very thoroughly before signing them. This can become an issue, however, when you sustain an injury on the property, as many landlords will point out indemnity clauses scattered throughout the rental contract.
Negligence over Indemnity: no contract entirely shields a property owner from negligence lawsuits. Your personal injury lawyer will normally build your case by deconstructing the clauses in your rental agreement that pertain to the negligence that contributed to the cause of your injury. For instance, if the landlord was responsible for maintaining the landscaping on the property and you suffer a serious fall because of a deteriorating walkway, your landlord has committed an act of negligence when they failed to maintain the landscaping. Once your personal injury lawyer is able to quote the same document your landlord's attorney will likely use to defend them, your case will be more likely to command a higher settlement to avoid a lengthy and costly trial.
Ugly Shades of Negligence
Negligence is a legal term that essentially amounts to failing to protect others from harm. Substantiating the extent of your landlord's negligence to help you earn larger settlement and/or jury decision.
Gross: if your landlord was repeatedly warned about a safety issue(s) but failed to properly address the issue(s) (or procrastinated on getting the issue(s) addressed), they may have committed an act of gross negligence. To prove gross negligence, your personal injury lawyer will need to create a paper trail of evidence that creates a timeline that can't be easily refuted. For instance, if your child was injured as a result of defective stair railings, documenting when you initially expressed your concerns to your landlord and how they chose to respond to your concerns can be very persuasive in court. Furthermore, once your attorney is able to gather visual evidence to document your landlord's negligence, they can have home inspectors and other building professionals review the visuals and supply sworn affidavits to detail the significance, age, and cost of addressing the issue properly.
For more information, reach out to a personal injury attorney.