NYC Apartment Accidents and Personal Injuries
Currently, there are nearly nine million people living in New York City, making it the most populated city in the entire country. It is no wonder that many people who reside here choose to live in large apartment complexes that house thousands of people. Unfortunately, the property owners and managers of these buildings do not always uphold their duty of care to keep the people and visitors inside these complexes safe.
Accidents are quite common in NYC apartment buildings and when they occur, injured individuals can file a claim for damages. When they do, you need a New York City premises liability lawyer who can help you claim financial compensation to offset the financial burden they will impose on you.
What Causes Accidents in NYC Apartment Buildings?
An apartment building can contain many hazards that could potentially harm residents and their visitors. These dangers are often a result of the following:
- Defective building materials
- Faulty design
- Poor maintenance
- Shoddy construction
- Dangerous clutter
These hazards can result in slip and fall accidents, or in physical injuries from fallen objects. Regardless of the type of accident caused, it is important to speak to a lawyer who can advise on whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim for damages.
Types of Dangerous Conditions in NYC Apartment Buildings
Any type of dangerous condition in an NYC apartment building can result in a very serious accident. The most common are as follows:
- Water leaks: When a water leak occurs in a one apartment unit, it can cause the ceiling of the unit below to collapse. This most commonly happens when a pipe bursts and causes structural damage that is not repaired properly and within a timely manner. Water leaks can also result in a slip and fall accident, which can cause serious injuries.
- Defective stoves: A defective stove can cause an explosion or fire that results in serious burn injuries. Smoke inhalation is another dangerous injury that individuals are at risk of suffering when they have a defective stove in their apartment. Owners and property managers of apartment buildings have a legal duty to ensure that stoves and any other appliances within an apartment are in safe working condition and that they are properly maintained at all times.
- Tripping hazards: Torn carpeting, loose floorboards, clutter, improperly maintained walkways, and debris can all result in a slip, trip, and fall accident. Although these accidents may sound minor to some, that is not the case. A trip, slip, and fall accident can cause serious shoulder and neck injuries, torn ligaments, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
- Collapsed ceilings: Water leaks can cause a ceiling to collapse, but there are other causes, as well. For example, the design of the building may be faulty and the floor of one apartment may not be strong enough to support everything in the unit. When a ceiling collapses in the unit below, occupants in the lower unit can become hit by wallboard, wood, plaster, and other debris falling down from above.
Proving Liability in NYC Apartment Accidents
There are many potentially liable parties at fault for an apartment accident. Most people think the property owner is always liable for hazardous conditions and sometimes, that is true. Property owners are responsible for dangerous conditions that result in an injury when they knew, or should have known, about the hazard.
For example, a tenant may tell their landlord that their stove is defective. If the property owner did not repair it, and the stove caused a fire, the landlord would be liable for any injuries that resulted. On the other hand, if the tenant never told the landlord about the defective stove, the property owner could not be held liable for the accident. Although property owners are sometimes liable, other parties can be found at fault for an apartment accident, too. The most common of these include:
- Property managers: Property owners and landlords do not always manage the buildings they rent out themselves. They often outsource the management of the building and the units to a property manager. When a property manager acts negligently, such as failing to correct a dangerous condition, they can be held liable for an accident.
- Manufacturers: Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure the products they create are safe for consumers to use. For example, if a gas stove in a unit was defective and emitted carbon monoxide fumes that caused someone to become sick, the manufacturer could be held liable for their injuries.
- Inspectors and maintenance companies: Landlords and property managers often rely on inspectors and maintenance companies to ensure the building is safe, and to correct dangerous conditions when they arise. These parties also have a legal duty to make sure they do their jobs properly and in a manner that keeps everyone in the building safe. When they fail to do so, they can be liable for paying damages.
Residents and Visitors Must Use the Apartment Building Normally
To hold someone liable for an accident that occurs in an apartment building, the accident victim must have been using the apartment building in a normal way at the time of injury. For example, if someone used the stairway in an apartment building and slid down the handrail, the landlord would not be liable if the tenant became hurt as a result. This is because sliding down the railing is not a normal way to use the stairs. On the other hand, if a tenant was walking down the stairs normally and slipped on a torn rug, the property owner could be held liable.
Our Premises Liability Lawyer in NYC Can Help with Your Case
If you have been hurt in an apartment building, you need sound legal advice. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our NYC premises liability lawyer can provide it and help you obtain the full and fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.