Representing Victims Of Negligent Landlords
Residents in Seattle should expect to live in safe, healthy communities, especially given the high costs of rent most of us have to pay. In fact, Seattle has strict laws regarding tenant rights and landlord responsibilities. Unfortunately, when landlords fail to meet these basic requirements, they put their tenants at risk of suffering serious injuries. Property owners should make every effort to fix safety hazards and warn residents of the danger. Failing to do so could make them liable in an injury claim.
If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent landlord, you should reach out to Pendergast Law as soon as possible. These cases require a skilled hand. Our Seattle apartment accident attorneys can diligently investigate the cause of your injuries, determine who caused your injuries, and represent you in an insurance claim to recover full compensation. We offer free consultations, so there is no cost to calling us toll-free at 888-539-9211.
Common Seattle Apartment Accidents
Whether you are living in a new complex or renting an apartment in an older building, several hazards exist that put you at risk of suffering serious trauma throughout Seattle’s sprawling neighborhoods. Many older buildings require consistent upkeep to remain livable, but even new buildings can suffer from poor planning and construction mistakes. In addition, landlords can also create new hazards, such as by failing to clean up spills, neglecting to fix gas or electrical hazards, or not securing a property against criminal activity.
In our experience, the most common accidents that occur at Seattle apartment buildings involve:
- Slip-and-fall accidents caused by wet floors, unkept lobbies, damaged carpet, poorly lit stairwells, and overgrown plants
- Electrical hazards caused by damaged wiring
- Poorly kept sidewalks
- Inadequate security measures that put residents at risk of being victims of violent crimes
- Swimming pool injuries caused by chemical exposure, electrical hazards, a lack of depth signs, or faulty railings
- Apartment fires and gas leaks caused by poor maintenance
- Construction accidents suffered by tenants or guests during renovations, including ceiling collapses
- Defective elevators
This list is not exhaustive, and there are several other scenarios where tenants and guests can be injured due to landlord negligence. However, it is important to understand that you must fulfill certain legal requirements under Washington state law to receive compensation for your trauma.
When Is A Landlord Responsible For An Accident?
When tenants sign a lease with a landlord, they are awarded certain legal protections under the law. Landlords are expected to provide a safe and habitable living space for tenants as outlined by Seattle Landlord-Tenant Laws and the Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, which includes ensuring an apartment complex is free of safety hazards. Failing to maintain a building and prevent injuries can make a landlord liable if an accident occurs, but only if the landlord was aware or reasonably should have been aware of a hazard.
Under Washington state’s premises liability laws, an injured party must prove the following elements in order to receive compensation from a landlord after an apartment accident:
- Duty of care: First, you must establish that this landlord had a duty to prevent your injuries. In most cases, landlords have an automatic duty of care toward tenants, but they may not have a duty to injured visitors or guests if they were not aware the injured party was on the property.
- Awareness: Landlords can only be liable for injuries caused by safety hazards they were aware of or reasonably should have been aware of. For example, if a landlord received reports that a staircase’s handrail was loose but did not warn tenants or schedule a repair in time, then he could be found liable if a tenant fell down the staircase. However, landlords should also regularly inspect an apartment complex to identify safety hazards. Failure to identify obvious hazards can also make a landlord liable for an accident.
- Negligence: Failing to identify, fix, or warn a tenant about a safety hazard can constitute negligence in a premises liability claim. In addition, negligence can also include any action that creates a safety hazard, such as spilling cleaning solvent on a landing or jury-rigging an apartment’s electrical wiring.
- Injury and damages: Lastly, the landlord’s negligence must have contributed to your injuries. If you suffered a head wound due to a tripping hazard in an apartment lobby, then you could hold the landlord liable for your medical costs, lost wages, and other damages.
If you can prove all of these elements, you should pursue a premises liability claim against the landlord to receive full compensation for your trauma. However, you will need to thoroughly investigate the accident, which may require filling out an accident report, collecting witness statements, reviewing building plans and maintenance reports, and negotiating with the landlord’s insurance company. This can be a difficult task on top of recovering from your injuries, which is why you should not hesitate to contact Pendergast Law to learn how our attorneys can handle your case.
Work With Dedicated Seattle Injury Attorneys
For nearly 30 years, the team at Pendergast Law has advocated for the best interests of injured clients throughout Seattle. Whether you suffered a spinal cord injury in a slip-and-fall accident or were burned due to faulty electrical wiring, our Seattle personal injury attorneys can determine who is at fault for your injuries. We have significant experience negotiating with insurance companies to recover compensation for our clients, but we are not afraid to take your case to court to hold a negligent landlord accountable after an accident.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to cut us a check unless we win your case. In addition, we offer every potential client a free case evaluation and are happy to sit down with you to explain your rights. We consider it a calling to help injured Seattle residents and will not rest until we recover compensation on your behalf. If we seem like the right firm for you, call us toll-free at 888-539-9211.