New Jersey law holds landlords accountable for tenant injuries sustained while on their property. However, you must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a property owner's negligence or actions contributed or led to your injuries.
How does a lawsuit work against a landlord in New Jersey? We will go over what you need to know below. However, if you want to file a successful lawsuit, you should retain the services of a NJ personal injury attorney, such as Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law. We can evaluate your case, determine if you have a strong claim, and the best steps to take to ensure it is successful.
Proving a Landlord's Negligence
To be successful in proving that a landlord was negligent and caused a situation that led to your injuries, you and your attorney must demonstrate to the court that their negligence caused the accident in order to award compensation. This is also referred to as premises liability.
Below are some of the most important factors the court will consider:
- Landlords have a legal duty to maintain the property and correct any hazards that may cause injury. If not, could be held liable for injuries that occur.
- It is the landlords' responsibility to warn renters if a danger is not immediately apparent. If not, it will be considered negligence.
- Risk foreseeability: If a person could have reasonably predicted the accident, landlords are liable.
- Failure to take measures to prevent dangers: The law only requires landlords to take reasonable measures to fix the issue, except dealing with underage renters.
Common Risks Tenants Encounter
A safe living space must be provided for you and your visitors by the landlord. However, there are some common dangers tenants run into, due to poor upkeep or maintenance, which is the landlord's responsibility. These include:
- Lead poisoning: Older homes may contain lead from the paint, which can poison people. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that nothing on the property can expose tenants or their children to lead.
- Playgrounds: Children who play in run-down playgrounds risk being hurt. The upkeep of playground equipment is the responsibility of the landlord to prevent injuries to children from cuts, infections, or broken bones.
- Smoke alarms that are missing or malfunctioning won't help in an emergency. In the event of a fire, they are hence likely to result in unnecessary deaths. Landlords are responsible for such incidents because it is their responsibility to make sure the equipment is in good working order.
- Buildings with more than one floor typically feature stairs. They must be in good condition, without loose railings, damaged steps or carpet. If someone is injured due to the condition of the stairs, the landlord would be responsible if an accident happened.
- The floor of a rental property should always be secure and in good condition. Broken tiles and loose planks could cause serious injuries.
- Security: To lower the likelihood of a robbery or other criminal acts, parking lots and common areas should be properly lit. Most homes in high-crime regions are affected by this. Additionally, landlords are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the locks and openings.
Retaining the Services of a Personal Injury Attorney
As mentioned above, you must prove to the court that the landlord's negligence caused the accident on the property that led to your injury. While there is no law that says you must hire an attorney, your case's success may be impacted greatly by the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Brandon J. Broderick has years of experience in representing clients in all types of personal injury cases. Call us today and we can help you every step of the way.