Slip and Fall Accidents: What if I Slip and Fall in an Apartment Complex?

slip and fall accidents in apartment complexes

What you’ll learn reading this article:

  1. We spend a majority of our time at our residences, and therefore the majority of accidents happen at or close to home. 
  2. Depending on where an accident occurs at an apartment complex, various parties could be responsible for it. 
  3. The idea of “notice” can complicate slip and fall accident cases for apartment-dwellers. 
When is an apartment complex, or condominium complex, responsible for injuries that occur on the premises?

37%  of renters live in apartments in the United States, with 44.1 million Americans renting.  Apartment dwellers often benefit greatly from life in their apartment complexes, enjoying amenities like workout rooms, lounges, and communal kitchens to public outdoors space and even swimming pools. While some apartment buildings only feature street parking, others offer their tenants parking lots or garages, with walkways to their building.

Unfortunately, some of these amenities can also create hazardous situations if the landlord or property manager does not manage the property well. Indoor spaces can become problematic when appliances are not maintained or stairwells and carpeted areas are not kept clear; similarly, outdoor walkways and parking spaces can become dangerous for slip and fall accidents due to weather and more. So what happens if you slip and fall in an apartment complex–whether yours or one you are visiting–and become injured?

Common Causes of Apartment Complex Slip and Falls

  • Wet, snow-covered, or icy sidewalks and parking lots
  • Cracked pavement
  • Debris on pathways
  • Loose carpeting
  • Loose wires or cables
  • Uneven stairwells
  • Broken or missing handrails
  • Poorly lit parking lots, hallways, or stairwells

Slip and fall accidents can cause a range of mild to severe injuries, including broken bones, spinal injuries, head trauma, and even death. In the United States, accidental falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits. Where do these types of falls occur in an apartment complex?

Common Locations of Apartment Complex Slip and Falls

  • Common areas, like lounges or communal living spaces
  • Sidewalks
  • Parking lots
  • Stairwells

While you certainly might slip and fall in your own apartment, it becomes a more complicated case to prove negligence on the part of the landlord in these instances. A landlord or property manager has a duty of care to provide maintenance and upkeep for communal spaces, whereas in your own personal apartment you are responsible.

Certain things may fall under the landlord’s responsibility, like loose carpeting or flooding from pipes or appliances, but it is also your duty to report those. Should your dishwasher leak and your landlord still hasn’t fixed it after contacting them, causing you to slip and fall and break your leg, then there is a case there that your landlord is at fault.

How “Notice” Further Complicates Things

Slip and fall cases in apartment complexes can be complicated in more than one way, and jurors are often less sympathetic should the case go to trial than they are to persons injured while at a business. This comes down to the notion of “notice,” or the belief that a resident should be knowledgeable about their area and be aware of any obstructions or problems, such as a leaking appliance, broken handrail, cracked pavement or potholes in the parking lot.

One might argue that for the defects to be there long enough that the landlord should reasonably know about them (and therefore be liable to get them fixed), the resident should also be aware of them. Because of arguments like this and clever defense attorneys, it can be a great asset to have a slip and fall accident attorney on your side to represent your case.

Qualified attorneys will be familiar with the types of defenses used and know how best to serve you. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from an Indiana slip and fall accident, contact us today for your free case review to find out if you qualify for compensation.

Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery—Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses.

We fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate—one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away.

Call 800-265-9881 for a free case review.

Video Transcript: 
When is an apartment complex, or condominium complex, responsible for injuries that occur on the premises? 
We recently settled a case for an elderly woman that fell at her condominium complex, when she was going up a flight of stairs that had been negligently maintained by the condominium association. And so what we were able to do in that case is, she took some photographs and actually video, showing that the stair railing was very, very loose. And we also hired an expert engineer to look at the stairwell to determine whether the stairwell was up to code, which it was not. And based upon those findings, we were able to negotiate a settlement with the condominium association.

When we are talking about determining whether you have a case, for injuries that occurred at an apartment complex or a condominium complex, what we first need to do is determine what was the mechanism of your fall? How was it that you fell? Was it a loose piece of concrete on a sidewalk that hadn’t been properly maintained? Was it un-shoveled areas in the parking lot, or on the sidewalk, or unsalted areas in the parking lot, or the sidewalk, that should have been remediated, but were not? And in those situations, if the apartment complex was responsible for maintaining those areas, and they did not, and they knew about the dangerous condition and they did nothing about it, then it is very possible that you would be able to recover. 

So, if you want a free case evaluation of your injury that occurred at an apartment complex or condominium association, please feel free to give us a call. We will be happy to walk through the facts of your case and determine whether it’s something that we would recommend pursuing.