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What is my landlords responsibilities if I get injured on the property?

Fitchburg, MA |

last night on 6/23/2012 i was walking up the stairs on the side of the house to go in the back door. While walking up the step (the one on the bottom I fell off the left side of the stairs (where the railing was taken off) and fell on a tree and some rocks are. There is no light on those stairs and the bottom step is very high (almost 2 feet). I went to the ER and they said it is a possible fracture, they said I may of fractured a little bone in my wrist near my thumb. They had to X-Ray it twice and told me that I need to go to an orthopedic doctor this week for further analysis and to see what my next steps will have to be. They said in 3 out of 5 of the X-Rays it appears to be fractured but on the other two it doesn't look fractured, but something just doesn't look right.

They have it heavily splinted until I go to that doctor. They also prescribed me Vicodin for the pain because I was having pain radiate from my thumb to my elbow. On my discharge papers they put a sprain, but said that is only because they aren't 100% certain its fractured, but that the orthopedic will have to make that decision. What is my landlords responsibilities on this? Clearly the staircase is not lit, the bottom step in almost 2 ft from the ground and the railing on that side was taken down. There is a railing on the right side but its to close to the house your hand gets caught between the railing and house. I have spoken to him numerous times before. This isnt the first time I fell, but the first time I got injured from falling. I cant use the other enterance because my front door isnt secure and I need to leave the chain link on it. So the only other enterance is my back one. I have spoken to him numerous times about the lighting and the way the steps are.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You need to consult a personal injury or premises liability lawyer. Many such lawyers will provide free initial consultation and will take the case on a contingency fee basis. It sounds like you may have sustained sufficient damages to justify a lawsuit. It also sounds like you may have good potential facts to support a liability claim against the landlord. However, it is difficult to make a defintive assessment in a forum like this. You need to discuss the facts of your case in detail with an attorney. As a general rule, landlords and other premises owners having possession or control of a property have a duty to keep the premises in a safe condtion free from unreasonably dangerous condition. Good luck.

    This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. You need to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
    It sounds to me like you have a case. The landlord has a duty to
    keep common areas like the steps in proper repair and to have
    proper lighting. You likely need to see an orthopedic specialist
    to determine if you have a fracture and the type of treatment you
    need.


  3. If you fell and were injured because a required railing was removed you likely have a good claim that the landlord is at fault. But a complete assessment is not possible based solely on what you have written. Defenses to the claim also need to be assessed, including comparative negligence, causation and damages.

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