Can I Sue My Landlord for Negligence in Massachusetts?

If your negligent landlord has caused you physical injury or financial loss, you may be able to sue him or her to recover your losses. However, proving that negligence can be a complicated matter. In some cases, negligence is apparent. For example, if your landlord ignored multiple emails and phone calls about a propane smell in the home and a propane explosion occurred weeks later, proving negligence is likely to be a straightforward process. However, injury and property damage claims are rarely this cut and dried. A Boston injury attorney can help you determine if you have a successful personal injury claim.

Proving Landlord Negligence

If your landlord acted carelessly without regard for the consequences of his or her actions, and you were injured or suffered financial losses as a result, you may have a successful personal injury claim on your hands. When injury or property damage occurs on the property of another, the property owner may be found negligent under premises liability laws. To prove that your landlord’s actions caused your injury or property damage, the following conditions must exist:

  • The landlord owed a duty to you.
  • The landlord breached that duty.
  • The breach of duty caused the injury or property damage, and
  • An injury or property damage occurred.

In personal injury claims against landlords, the most common question is whether or not the landlord actually owed a duty to the injured person. What does that mean, exactly? Basically, a landlord generally has a duty to tenants and their guests. Landlords may even have a duty to the public if the public has access to common areas. The duty owed is generally to maintain the common areas in a safe and habitable condition at all times. For example, hazards such as live wires and broken steps should be remedied as soon as possible, railings should be secure, doors should open and lock properly, and there should be a plan in place for dealing with snow and ice. Consult with a MA injury lawyer if you’ve been harmed due to landlord negligence.

Was Notice Given?

Although remedying these hazards is a landlord’s responsibility, the landlord must have notice of the hazards in order to remove them. For example, if you are renting a house in New York and your landlord lives in California full time, how is she going to know when a formerly-intact step breaks? If you fall down that step and suffer injuries, can you sue? Well, if you never notified your landlord of the problem, your chances of success are limited. However, you may be in luck if you called and emailed your landlord for weeks, offering to pay for a renovation if she deducted it from your rent, but she failed to respond. There are some exceptions to the notice rule, however. For example, if the dangerous conditions were present before you moved in, it is possible that the landlord “should have known about” the conditions.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. If you’ve been harmed you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. If a landlord’s negligence has caused you injury or financial loss, he or she should be held accountable. We will analyze the details of your case and position you for the best possible outcome. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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