Living in a California rental house or apartment complex is an ideal option for many residents who are not interested in home ownership, do not have the money for a down payment on a house, or are only living in the area on a temporary basis. In addition, many apartment complexes and rental home communities provide great amenities that include swimming pools, play areas for children, workout centers, tennis courts, and community centers that can be used for large group gatherings.
However, when there is an issue with your rental home or the exterior space near it, you can quickly become frustrated trying to get the landlord to take care of the problem. And sadly, the issue will likely result in an injury accident before the landlord has gotten around to investigating your complaint and making any repairs to the area. So you could be left wondering, can I sue my landlord if I feel in the driveway of my rental home?
If you are pondering that question due to a recent fall in your rental property’s driveway, the DTLA Law Group team is here to provide the reliable guidance and solutions you need. Our injury at a rental property lawyers are available 24/7 to determine if your landlord is to blame for your injuries and if you should proceed with a lawsuit. In addition, we are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit further and explain the process of how you would sue your landlord for the injuries you suffered during a fall at your rental home.
Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability is a section of the legal system that defines the obligations of property owners to ensure the safety of their guests, tenants, or renters of a property. The guideline dictates the level of care and maintenance required to ensure that common safety hazards and risks are located and eliminated from the property. The minimum level of care that must be provided should equal what the average person would provide. This makes the guidelines easy to understand and apply to many situations that could occur throughout a rental house or apartment complex.
When evaluating the legal merit of the incident, your DTLA Law Group personal injury lawyer will need to decide if the rules of premises liability apply to ensure that you can sue your landlord for the injuries you suffered when you fell in the driveway.
The first criterion is easily met because you are a renter at the property, so you are using the property with legal consent. Premises liability rules do not apply to anyone on a property illegally, such as a trespasser or a burglar. In addition, your personal injury lawyer will need to determine that one of the following criteria is also met:
- The landlord created the safety hazard
- The landlord knew about the safety hazard and chose not to repair it or advise you of the issue and to avoid the area
- The landlord should have known about the safety issue if they were conducting the required regular inspections of the property
If you had been contacting the landlord requesting they fix an issue or safety hazard related to your driveway, it should be easy to determine that premises liability will apply. This assumes that caring for the driveway is the landlord’s responsibility and is not noted as a tenant’s responsibility on your lease agreement.
Common Safety Hazards In A Rental Home Driveway
Sadly, most people take their driveway for granted and only consider it a place to park a vehicle. However, it is a feature that requires some care and maintenance to remain safe. If the driveway is made of pavers, concrete, or asphalt, the surface will need care to ensure that it does not develop a hole that could result in a severe injury from a fall. Gravel driveways must also be maintained to ensure they do not develop holes.
In addition to normal wear and tear from use, excessive rain can cause a driveway to wash out or disintegrate, creating a significant trip and fall or slip and fall hazard. Likewise, roots growing underneath the driveway can cause the surface to buckle and become a severe trip and fall hazard. Other common issues that can damage a driveway and make it unsafe include water leaking from an irrigation system, a large object falling on the driveway, soil shifting or seismic activity, or significant temperature fluctuations.
What To Do After Suffering A Fall In Your Rental Home’s Driveway
Of course, seeking medical care is the priority after suffering a fall. Having your injuries documented by a medical professional will be helpful should you decide to sue your landlord for injuries suffered in your fall. But once you have gotten the treatment your injuries require, it is time to compile some information to ensure you have a record of what caused your fall.
First, get pictures of the damage to the driveway that caused you to fall. If the issue is a hole in the driveway surface, try to show the perspective of the size of the hole and its depth. Also, get images of what could cause the damage, such as roots visible near the driveway’s edge, causing the surface to heave or shift.
Then get a few pictures of the entire driveway surface to show the condition. This photo will also document the number of places that are a hazard and possibly explain how you were unable to avoid traversing the section of the driveway where you fell. Finally, if you have email or text messages where you requested the landlord repair the driveway, print copies and keep them with the images of the driveway and your medical records to submit to your legal team at DTLA Law Group during your free consultation.
How Much Is A Driveway Fall Accident Injury At My Rental Home Lawsuit Worth?
The value of your personal injury lawsuit against your landlord will be based on the losses and expenses you incurred due to the injuries you sustained in the fall. Your DTLA Law Group legal team will work with you to compile all the expenses that can be included in the claim, such as:
- Medical expenses related to the injuries suffered in the fall
- The legal fees for preparing your personal injury lawsuit against your landlord
- The value of any personal property that was damaged or destroyed in the fall
- Your lost wages if the injuries prevented you from working
If you suffer severe injuries in the fall, it is common to include an amount to compensate you for pain and suffering. These funds are based on the severity of the injuries and the time needed to make a complete recovery. Your DTLA Law Group personal injury lawyer will provide a reasonable amount for pain and suffering based on their expertise and experience with cases similar to yours.
When To File Your Fall In Your Driveway At Your Rental Home Lawsuit
The Statute Of Limitations requires your lawsuit to be filed with the court within two years of the accident date. If the case is not in the hands of the court by that time, you will likely lose the right to seek compensation. Very few exceptions can allow for more time to file your claim. If any of them apply to your case, your DTLA Law Group personal injury lawyer will explain their possible benefit to your case.
Conversely, there are no required time limits to wait before filing a lawsuit against your landlord after suffering an injury at your rental property. So you can move forward with the case as soon as you and your DTLA Law group personal injury lawyer feel the case is complete. Moving quickly is the best way to get the compensation you need to pay your legal and medical expenses as soon as possible.
How To Get The Best Personal Injury Lawyer When Suing Your Landlord
Many personal injury victims never get the justice they deserve after suffering a fall in the driveway of their rental home. They fear they cannot afford the out of pocket legal fees most lawyers charge. So they never pursue suing their landlord. However, the staff at DTLA Law Group believes that everyone deserves the highest quality legal services. So we offer our expertise and never require payment until after we have done our job and secured the settlement or verdict, you need to pay your legal fees and medical expenses.
In addition, if we fail to do the job we were hired to do and deliver a win, you owe us nothing. This is the best way for us to demonstrate our confidence in winning your case and getting you the justice and compensation you deserve for the injuries suffered at your rental home. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with DTLA Law Group today to discuss the details of your fall and injuries with an expert personal injury lawyer.
Our team will advise you if you have grounds for a lawsuit against your landlord and how to proceed with the case. And as with all of our free consultations, there is no obligation to hire our law firm or sue your landlord. We simply want to ensure you understand your rights and how to protect yourself from excessive debt due to your injuries.