How do you get your landlord to compensate you when their negligence injures you? Just as with other personal injury cases, there are several things you will have to prove. Using an example of an injury in a laundry room, here are the major points you have to prove:
Maintain the Laundry Room Was the Landlord's Responsibility
The first thing you need to establish is that your landlord was responsible for maintaining and keeping the laundry room secure. If all tenants are free to use the laundry room, then it's probably the landlord's duty to maintain it. However, your written lease or state's landlord-tenancy laws are the definitive authority on this issue.
The Landlord Failed To Keep the Room Safe
Next, prove that the landlord failed to maintain the laundry room. Remember that you can only accuse your landlord of negligence if they knew about the dangerous condition, but failed to take measures within a reasonable time (it's the court's prerogative to determine what is reasonable). If you warned your landlord about a damaged washer control (a safety hazard) at night, you cannot accuse them of failing to repair the fault if you are injured before morning. You have to prove they had time to rectify the fault but failed to do so.
The Landlord's Negligence Led To Your Injury
You also need to prove that it is the negligence that led to your injury. Just because you were injured in a landlord-maintained laundry room, it doesn't mean that you can list all the faults in the room and claim damages from the landlord. If the landlord failed to replace the damaged washer controls, you must prove that the damaged controls were exactly what injured you. This means fixing the damage could have prevented your injury.
You Were Genuinely Hurt
Lastly, you need to prove that you were genuinely hurt during the accident. You cannot claim injury damages if the fault gave you a scare or "nearly" hurt you. So, don't expect compensation from the landlord if you caught your child trying to get into a damaged and open washer door. You would only succeed if the child did get into the washer and sustained injuries.
It's clear that an injury in a landlord-controlled area doesn't lead to an automatic liability for the landlord. If you have incurred such an injury, contact a personal injury attorney to analyze the circumstances of your injury and help you prove why the landlord should be held liable for it.