How to get settlement for damages from my landord's insurance?

by Deborah
(San Jose, CA)

I fell on 08/04/16 near the front door of my upstairs apartment. There was repair work being done and the area was very hazardous and unsafe for well over 1 month. I am suing the contractor, but I feel I should also be compensated from my landlord's liability coverage.

My landlord neglected to stay informed of the work being done, the length of time it should take, and to make sure the contractor made the area near my front door clear and safe enough for me to walk in and out of my front door. The work started in June of 2015 and was not completed until October 2015. I fell in August 2015, 2 months after my hip surgery.

Can I sue the landlord? How can I get compensation from my landlord's insurance? Is there anything else I need to know? 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 "How to get settlement for damages from my landord's insurance?":

Deborah (San Jose, CA):

While you state you are suing the contractor, you don't allege any injuries arising out of the fall. We can presume from the facts you present, your injuries had something to do with an exacerbation of your previous injury resulting in hip surgery.

To succeed in a lawsuit against the contractor and/or the landlord will require a showing of the five (5) elements of negligence. They are as follows:

1. Duty - the contractor and/or the landlord owed you a duty of care
(It is clear the contractor and landlord owed you and other tenants a legal duty of care to make the premises safe for tenants to traverse.)

2. Breach of Duty - the contractor and/or the landlord breached their duty of care through their action or inaction
(From the facts you present, it appears the construction work may have been inherently dangerous to you and other tenants.)

3. Direct and Proximate Cause - the contractor and/or the landlord’s actions or omissions were the direct and proximate cause of your fall
(You will have to prove the dangerous area was the exclusive cause of your fall and injury.)

4. Foreseeability - it was foreseeable the contractor and/or the landlord’s actions or omissions would have caused you to be injured
(It appears the area was dangerous enough that the contractor and landlord knew, or should have know it was foreseeable you or others might fall.)

5. Damages - As a result of the negligence, you sustained damages.

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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