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Can a Tenant Sue a Landlord for Falling Down the Stairs?

Sometimes, landowners fail to uphold safety standards on their premises. This is especially common among landlords who rent out their property to tenants. The situation raises the question; can a tenant sue a landlord for falling down the stairs?

In essence, a landowner could be held liable for any accident that occurs on their property. This includes but is not limited to a tenant falling down the stairs. To learn more about your rights as a tenant, please contact an expert Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers.

Premises Liability in California

All property owners are required by law to maintain their premises in a safe condition for visitors. A visitor could be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Subsequently, the degree of duty of care will often depend on the owner’s legal relationship with the visitor.

Invitees are owed the highest duty of care as the landowner has specifically invited them on the property. Because building tenants fall under invitees, landlords are expected by law to ensure their best safety.

Failure to fulfill this duty could make a landlord liable for damages in the event of an accident. An injured tenant could sue the landlord for medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Landlord Duties

Landlords are mandated to keep their premises safe by checking and repairing any dangerous conditions. They are also expected to implement security measures to protect tenants, such as posting warning signs for unfixable hazards.

Among the top duties of a landlord is maintaining the stairs in a safe condition. They should:

  • Replace faulty flooring material or carpeting
  • Install proper lighting in stairwells
  • Repair slippery or uneven stair treads
  • Install handrails
  • Repair or replace damaged stairs or stair rails
  • Post warning signs of hazards, construction, or ongoing repairs. 

The Elements of a Stairs Premises Liability Claim

In premises liability claims, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff. The plaintiff, who is the tenant, has to prove that the landlord failed to fulfill their duty of responsibility. They also have to show that this negligence led to them falling down the stairs.

Generally, the tenant will have to show that:

  • The landlord was aware of the staircase’s dangerous condition, and
  • Did not take the necessary steps to fix the dangerous condition, or
  • Post sufficient warnings to notify the tenant of the dangerous conditions

If a tenant can provide sufficient evidence to prove these elements, the landlord can be held liable for any damages suffered by the tenant.

Proving a premises liability case against a landlord can be difficult. It is advisable to retain the services of a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney immediately after your accident.

Contact a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney

The best-placed person to answer the question can a tenant sue a landlord for falling down the stairs is an attorney. This is because every premises liability case is different. If you believe your landlord’s negligence caused your injury, contact the law offices of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to speak to an expert.

We also recommend that you contact us even if you are not certain of fault. An experienced Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney will study the facts of your case and advise you accordingly.