Cut my arm trying to get into my home through the window...

by Tejah
(Beloit, WI)

I have asked my landlord on 2 different occasions to change the locks to my door because. The first time was because I had lost my key, so I'd been leaving my house unlocked. The second time was after my landlord got the lock re-keyed, the lock kept getting jammed.

One day I came home at 4am after getting off work and was not able to get into my house because the lock was jammed again. I proceeded to slide up the window and get into my house through the window, but the old glass broke (old Victorian style house) and I was cut. I needed 5 stitches.

I told the landlord the next day and she said it was not her problem. Now I have an ugly stretched out scar and she refuses to give me her insurance company info or even take $100 off of my rent for the ER co-pay. Furthermore, I was in return given a retaliation eviction.

Is this legal? Is the landlord in any way responsible for helping with my medical bills? Can she evict me for this? Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Cut my arm trying to get into my home through the window...":

Tejah (Beloit, WI):

For your landlord to be liable will require showing the following:

- The landlord had control over the property

- The landlord knew, or should have known there existed a dangerous condition on the property

- The landlord failed to take reasonable steps to avert, correct, or eliminate the dangerous condition

- The tenant could not have reasonably avoided the dangerous condition

- The tenant did not contribute to his or her own injuries

- The landlord's actions (negligence) were the proximate cause of the tenant's injuries

In the facts you present, the jammed lock would not have constituted a dangerous condition. Moreover, you could have taken reasonable steps to avoid your injuries by contacting a locksmith to open the door and then sending the bill to the landlord. It can be argued you contributed to your own injuries.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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