Queens is one of New York City’s fastest growing boroughs, as more and more residents seek a more affordable alternative to the sky-high rental prices of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Real estate developers have taken notice and there has been a large boom in the construction of apartment buildings and condos. Since most residents of these properties rent rather than own, it’s usually up to the owner, landlord, or managing agent to make sure the buildings are safe and free of hazards which could injure tenants and their guests.
Unfortunately, not every property owner fulfills their duty of keeping their buildings safe. A lack of proper maintenance endangers all tenants and guests of the property by allowing dangerous conditions to go unattended, such as slip and fall hazards. When an innocent victim gets injured due to unsafe conditions, it’s important to ask who is liable for their related expenses.
Who Might Be Responsible For Apartment Slip & Fall Accidents?
Determining liability in these cases can get pretty complicated and depends largely on the specific circumstances surrounding your injury. In most cases, either the landlord or the tenant will be liable. So if you were visiting a friend or family member at their apartment complex and got into a slip and fall accident, these would probably be your two options if you considered a lawsuit. If you fell in your own apartment unit and it was determined to be your fault, you would likely have no case for a lawsuit.
In order to sue your landlord, you must establish negligence by proving the following criteria:
- Your landlord was responsible for maintaining the part of the premises where the accident occurred
- Your landlord failed to take reasonable action to address the danger that caused the accident
- Fixing the issue (or giving warnings) would not have been unreasonably expensive or difficult
- The accident and injuries were foreseeable because of the dangerous condition
- Your landlord’s failure to address the danger directly caused your accident and injuries
- You were genuinely injured due to this negligence
If your injury was the result of a hazardous condition which was not the landlord’s responsibility, then you may have the option to sue the tenant for negligence. For example, the tenant could be considered negligent if they recently mopped their floors, failed to warn you that they were wet, and you injured yourself in a slip and fall.
In order to determine who was liable for your accident, it’s almost always necessary to have the details of your incident reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Liability In Condo Accidents
Condominiums are individually owned properties within a larger complex, and the rules regarding liability differ from apartment buildings. In Queens, these buildings are owned by an association of property owners, or Homeowners Association. This group is responsible for maintaining common areas such as hallways, elevators, patios, courtyards, etc. If your slip and fall accident occurred due to a dangerous condition in one of these common areas, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the Homeowner’s Association. But accidents which took place inside your own condo are not likely to qualify for compensation.
Just like accidents in apartment buildings, determining liability for a condo slip and fall is extremely complex. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help review the circumstances behind your accident in order to determine if you have a viable case for a lawsuit.
Common Examples Of Hazardous Conditions
When properties are improperly maintained, there are a variety of slip and fall hazards which could lead to serious injuries:
- Uncleared ice and snow on walkways, stairs, parking lots, etc.
- Broken steps or staircases
- Uneven or broken sidewalks
- Uncleared wet leaves
- Inadequate lighting
- Unmarked wet floors in common areas
If a landlord or property owner is notified of one of these conditions and fails to fix it, anyone who gets injured by that condition could have a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit. Dangerous conditions which are unknown to the landlord may not qualify. For example, if another tenant created a large spill and you slipped and fell on it a few minutes later, the landlord would not be considered liable since he/she could not have reasonably known of and addressed the problem in such a short time span.
How A Queens Slip And Fall Lawyer Can Help
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times already, seeking compensation for slip and fall injuries is extremely complicated. This is even more true with falls in apartment buildings and condos, as liability often depends on the agreement or lease between the tenant and landlord. It is usually necessary to have a lawyer read over your agreement in order to determine who was responsible for fixing the dangerous condition.
A lawyer can also help you gather all of the other evidence you need, such as photos of the accident scene and your injuries, medical reports, etc.
If you’re unsure if you have a strong case, you risk nothing by scheduling a free consultation. Our dedicated slip and fall lawyers will gladly analyze all of the details surrounding your incident, and if we take your case, we’ll only ask for payment if and when we successfully help you receive compensation.