If you are a tenant and are injured inside of your apartment or on the apartment grounds, you may have a claim against the apartment complex manager or the owner of the building or land on which you were injured. We have handled many of these cases, including a case where our client tripped and fell over an exposed irrigation pipe, breaking his ankle, where improperly installed bookshelves fell on our client, where a broken fence fell on top of our client, breaking her leg, where our client shattered her pelvis jumping from a window due to a fire, mold exposure in an apartment complex that caused our client health conditions, a trip and fall down stairs that had become slick with moss, and where a kitchen floor completed caved in causing our client to fall to the ground below. As you can see, there are many types of injuries you can suffer at an apartment complex.
What Do I Do if I was Injured at my Apartment?
When you are injured at your apartment, it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately to preserve evidence. It is typical that the apartment complex may work quickly to fix whatever problem caused your injury, so it is important to take photographs of the condition, to record the name of the company or persons who come to fix it, as well as secure the names of any people who may have been witnesses to the injury. Hiring an attorney quickly may provide time for us to send an expert out to assess the condition before it is repaired, for example. Typically, expert testimony is necessary to prove these claims.
Who is Responsible if I am Injured at my Apartment?
An experienced attorney will also be able to navigate who may be responsible for your injuries - whether it be the apartment complex management company, the owner of the actual premises, or both. In Louisiana, the owner of a property is responsible for keeping it safe, which applies to the owner of the complex and also, in many cases, to the apartment management. Sometimes, these duties can be defined by contract - that is, the apartment complex owners and managers may have assumed contractually duties that otherwise may apply only to the owner of a land - such as a defective condition on the premises.
Some of the applicable Louisiana laws that apply are as follows:
Art. 2317. Acts of others and of things in custody.
We are responsible, not only for the damage occasioned by our own act, but for that which is caused by the act of persons for whom we are answerable, or of the things which we have in our custody.
Art. 2317.1. Damage caused by ruin, vice, or defect in things
The owner or custodian of a thing is answerable for damage occasioned by its ruin, vice, or defect, only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of the ruin, vice, or defect which caused the damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case.
Art. 2322. Damage caused by ruin of building
The owner of a building is answerable for the damage occasioned by its ruin, when this is caused by neglect to repair it, or when it is the result of a vice or defect in its original* construction. However, he is answerable for damages only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of the vice or defect which caused the damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case.
Does Insurance Apply if I Am Injured at my Apartment?
If you are injured at your apartment, we will explore claims against your landlord's insurance company. Sometimes, these policies have provisions in them that allow for the payment of your medical expenses in advance. In addition, you may have a renter's insurance policy and we will work with you to advise whether that insurance policy has any coverage for your medical expenses.
Can I get Evicted if I am Injured at my Apartment?
When you are injured where you live, there are a multitude of concerns that are separate from whether you can legally make a claim. Almost all of our clients are concerned about how making a claim may affect their living situation. We will review any lease agreement that you have and discuss with you the concerns with your living situation should you be injured at your apartment so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
If you have been injured at an apartment complex, it is important to consult an attorney who has experience handling these cases as they can be complicated. Please call us for a free consultation at 504-828-3313 or fill out the form below if you would like someone to contact you.