This article is specific to Florida apartment building slip and fall claims. I wrote separate articles on:
- Slip and Fall claims against condominiums in Florida
- Trip and fall claims against Florida condominiums and apartments
- General injury claims at Florida condominiums and apartment buildings.
Means of Egress (for buildings over 3 stories)
The building should have emergency lighting in the hallways and stairwells. The exit signs should be illuminated.
If there is no emergency lighting and illuminated exit signs, someone exited the building may fall. He or she may have a personal injury case against the condo or apartment building.
How Much is a Slip and Fall at an Apartment Building Worth?
The injured person may want to try to figure out how much your injury case may be worth. You can try looking at past Florida settlements and verdicts in similar cases.
But settlements and verdicts are most helpful if they itemize each category of damages. If you don’t know the breakdown of the damages, reading about settlement or verdicts can be almost useless.
The pain and suffering component of the settlement value of your case is what many people want to know.
What If a Tenant Only Has 1 Way to Leave a Property and Is Hurt By a Danger?
A tenant, with only one way to leave, doesn’t assume the risk of the danger created by the landlord. Conroy v. Briley, 191 So.2d 601 (Fla. App.1st 1966).
For example, assume that the only way that a tenant can leave an apartment building is by using one stairway. Assume that the building code and a regulation/rule requires that a handrail is used on this stairway.
There is no handrail. While you’re descending the stairway, you (a tenant) fall down the stairs. You suffer severe injuries.
You should also argue to the apartment building’s insurance company, that a court won’t let a jury place any blame on you.
This assumes that you were walking down the stairs in your usual manner, when you fell.
Since you only had one method of egress (1 way to leave), tell the apartment building’s insurer that you didn’t assume the risk of the danger – no handrail – created by the landlord.
Tell the apartment building’s insurer that you want full value for your injuries. If you’re a heavy person, the adjuster may reduce the value of your slip and fall case.
Falls on a Staircase with Broken Tile or Missing Step
A step on a staircase may break at a apartment complex. If this happens, the apartment complex should place a warning sign next to the step.
They should immediately block of this area. The association or property manager should fix the step as soon as possible.
The apartment building owner may be liable if they do not warn and fix the hazard. The injured person may also have a claim for compensation against the property manager.
Falls on Stairs at an Apartment Building
If you injured yourself from a slip and fell while walking down the steps (stairs) in an apartment complex or townhouse, you may have a case if one of the things below caused your injury.
You must show that the staircase was a dangerous condition. Some dangerous conditions may be:
– Wrong paint on steps makes stairs too slippery.
– The staircase did not have a handrail and it should have had one.
– The staircase had a broken handle or the wrong type of handle.
– One of the steps was chipped.
– The step that you fell on did not have anti-slip stair tread (traction tape). This generally applies to commercial properties (private businesses). I don’t believe that anti-slip tread is required in homes.
– The height of some of the steps were of different proportions.
Learn more about Florida staircase accident claims.
Water Dripping from an Exit Sign Hanging from an Exterior Covered Walkway
There two ways to show that a apartment complex had constructive notice of the water that you slipped on. One of these ways is if the water on the floor occurred with regularity and it was therefore forseeable.
In the picture above, you can see that next to the puddle, the flooring has a white/grayish stain. This is from water dripping from an exit sign (hanging on the ceiling) over a long period of time.
But don’t just take one picture and stop. You want as many photos as it takes to preserve the evidence.
The exit sign can be seen in the above picture. The picture below shows a close up of the exit sign.
You can see that black mold (or another substance) has formed on the sign. This was caused by water dripping from the sign over a long period of time.
If you slip and fall on the puddle of water that I am talking about, you may be able to show that puddle occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable to the apartment complex.
You would also have a case against the property management company as well.
Take pictures of the hazard from several angles, both close up and far away so that a jury (and claims adjuster) can see the big picture.
If you slipped and fell on this puddle, you should be able to get your case to a jury.
Slip and Falls on Water That Blows in Through the Front Door
Water may blow in through the front door and caused you to slip.
Your case is stronger if you complained to the apartment complex management or landlord before you fell and they did not fix this before you fell.
Slip and Falls from Water That Leaks From The Ceiling or Roof.
Sometimes water leaks from the ceiling or roof inside an apartment, townhouse or condominium. If this caused your injury, then you may have a case against your landlord.
If you complained to your landlord, before your slip and fall, about the leaking ceiling and they did not repair it, then this helps your case.
Your case is stronger if you sent this complaint to the landlord in writing, particularly email with delivery and read receipt, fax or certified mail return receipt.
The more times that you complained to your landlord or the apartment complex management company, then the better it is for your case.
Even if the landlord did not repair the leaking ceiling or roof, you may still be at fault because you knew that there was an issue that was causing water to be on the floor.
Even if you did not see water before you fell, you knew that it was a problem.
The more times that you walked in the area where the water was on the floor, then the less your case is usually worth.
This is because the landlord or apartment complex owner/manager has a stronger argument that you were so aware of this dangerous condition that you should not have walked in that area.
Did you slip and fall, and get hurt, at an apartment building in Florida? Were you injured in another type of accident?
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