Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Landlord responsibilities for injuries on grounds and parking lots

Depending on the type of rental and lease agreement you have, your landlord may or may not be responsible for maintaining walkway and parking lot areas and keeping them free from ice, snow, and hazards. Some instances in which your landlord has the responsibility of maintenance are:

  • The lease explicitly states that the landlord is responsible for snow removal and maintenance concerns for walkways and vehicle areas
  • If you live in an apartment complex that has common parking lots and walkways
  • If the landlord is responsible for outside lawn and landscape maintenance

The tenant is most likely responsible for maintaining their own walkways and parking areas if:

  • The lease states it is their responsibility
  • The tenant is expected to provide yard and landscape care
  • The tenant is leasing the actual yard and property along with the home or apartment

One of the most common types of injuries caused by poor maintenance of walkways and parking lots are the slip-and-falls. Slip-and-falls can occur from cracks, uneven concrete, or failure to keep the area free from snow and ice.

Whether you know if your accident will result in injuries or not, it is essential to take a few precautionary steps after the incident occurs to make sure that your rights are protected should the injuries result in the need for medical attention, lost wages, or other expenses. Immediately after the incident:

Photograph the scene

Take photos of the area where the incident occurred. If there is a crack, broken stair, bump, or imperfection that caused the incident, be sure to get photos that can show it. Even if you slipped on snow or ice, you would want to take pictures of the area trying to get points of reference to the location in the shot. These photos are extremely important because ice and snow conditions can change quickly.

Photograph the injuries

Take photos of your injuries as well as the state of your clothing. You will want to document any rips, tears, dirt, bumps, bruises, scrapes, and reddened areas on the skin. A mobile phone can be easily used to get all your documentation.

Get medical treatment

Whether you have bumps and bruises, scrapes, or broken bones you should get them treated immediately by a medical professional. Medical treatment is important because small fractures and other injuries may not be noticeable by you at first but a medical professional will be able to document these. Make sure to get a report of all encounters with medical professionals.

File an incident report with the apartment complex office

After seeking medical treatment you will need to report the incident. Check with your apartment complex management office to request an incident report. If they don't have one or refuse to give you one, contact the building owner or management company directly. Be sure to make copies of all paperwork and read through everything thoroughly.

Be accurate and record all details of the incident

Don't embellish the incident. Record the truthful facts about the accident. Record the names and information of anyone who saw the incident as well as the details of what happened during the event and any interaction you may have had while filing the incident report with the landlord or manager.

Don't discuss the incident with other people

Don't be tempted to post information about the incident on social media or discuss the incident with friends, coworkers, etc. Additionally, you may be contacted by an insurance claims adjuster from the property owner. Do not discuss any details with them. Even simple statements made to adjusters such as "I'm feeling better now," can be turned around against you if you seek damages.

Accidents on walkways and parking lots can result in injuries that can take days and even weeks to show up, so taking the proper steps immediately following the incident is essential if you need to seek compensation.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
Fax: 412-391-7453
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