When the Landlord Causes Injury: Tenant Rights in Rental Scenarios

Experiencing a personal injury is always a distressing situation. It can be even more upsetting and difficult to cope with when the injury is caused in someone’s own home. Sometimes personal injury is related to actions taken, or not taken by the landlord. No matter the situation, it is important to consult with a Philadelphia injury lawyer in the case of an accident.

Negligence

Negligence, in the legal context, refers to a situation in which someone failed to take action the consequence of which is harming another. If the landlord had control over a dangerous condition, knowledge of an unobvious danger, foresaw something which could cause an accident, the likelihood that their negligence would cause an injury, the costs to reduce danger (not exclusively monetary costs), and the failure to take reasonable steps are all elements that must be looked at to prove the landlord’s liability. A few examples include-

  • Not installing a smoke detector
  • Not informing tenants of a broken floorboard
  • Not fencing off or putting a ‘do not enter’ sign in a dangerous area (such as one under construction)
  • Not fixing a broken staircase when it’s easily fixable  

Negligence Per Se

Negligence per se is a legal theory referring to a situation in which the courts can automatically conclude that the landlord is guilty. This happens when the landlord has violated specific laws that result in a tenant being harmed. To sue for negligence per se the injured party needs to prove that the landlord violated the law, the law violated is meant to protect tenants or the public from danger, their injuries are the kind this law is meant to prevent, and that the landlord’s actions directly caused the injury.

Negligence per se is often proved through specific laws in a city meant to protect tenants. Our Philadelphia injury lawyers are well versed in laws protecting tenants in Philadelphia as well as other parts of the state.

Injured Minors

When dealing with injured adults the landlord’s failure to act is weighed against whether or not it’s the course of action a ‘reasonable’ person would take. This is generally interpreted as using common sense. However, instances of injured minors don’t rely on reasonable actions.  Children aren’t as capable of assessing danger or potential threats as adults are, so tenants must be vigilant of any areas that could potentially pose a threat to children. Landlords must also be mindful of children who aren’t tenants, such as visitors and trespassing minors. For example, a trespassing minor wanders onto the property because of a swimming pool, and this pool isn’t fenced off. The landlord will be held liable if the child is hurt or dies as a result of not making this attractive feature less accessible to children.

Know Your Rights

Like tenants, landlords have certain legal protections as well. Don’t allow them to use these laws against you, contact the Katz Injury Law office instead. As your Philadelphia injury attorney, we will spare no expense to ensure you are compensated accordingly, and the landlord deals with the consequences of their inaction. If you or someone you know have experienced injury due to a landlord, get in touch with us immediately.



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