Hurt by faulty shower door in my apartment...

by Fatima
(La Habra, California)

I was injured at my apartment when the sliding shower door collapsed on my right foot. It required six stitches on my middle toe and there was a broken bone. I don't have medical insurance.

I went 10 days without a job and now I can only work part time for one month. The building manager did not offer any help and I need somebody to compensate the medical expenses, days off work and the pain I suffered. Somebody told me I need to submit a letter to my landlord. Any suggestions on what to do? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hurt by faulty shower door in my apartment...":


This gets a little complicated. There are 3 possible scenarios:

1. If you knew the shower door was not operating correctly for some time and you failed to report it to management, they might say if you had let them know as soon as you realized the door wasn’t functioning properly they could have repaired it and you wouldn’t have been injured.

2. On the other hand if you had previously notified them and they ignored your requests to repair the door, they would have increased their liability for your injuries and pain and suffering.

3. Finally, if you didn’t realize the shower door was malfunctioning until the day it collapsed then there is a much better chance of holding the apartment complex owners and management separately and collectively liable. Normally apartment complexes are owned by one company who hires another company to manage the apartments - they are both conceivably liable.

Whoever told you about sending a letter to the landlord was correct. You should send them a letter identifying the door’s collapse and requesting compensation. The letter can be hand-delivered or mailed certified to the landlord, management company, or both. If you are not sure which, then send or or deliver it to the same place you pay your rent.

Here is an example of the letter you might send:


Dear (Management Company):

I am a tenant at (Your address). On (date the door collapsed),_______ 2011 while showering the shower door collapsed and cut my foot. The cut required six stitches. As a result I was unable to work for ten days, and only recently have I been able to return to work part-time.

I am enclosing copies of my medical bills. As you can see the total is $________.00.

In addition I had to pay for medicine and other related out-of-pocket expenses.
The cost was $_______________.

My lost wages amount to $_______.00 (Put in the amount you would have been paid if you were working)

My Pain and Suffering amount to $5,000.00. (A reasonable amount).

Please send me a check in the amount $_________________ (add medical bills, prescription and other out-of pocket costs).

If you do not respond within 7 days of your receipt of this letter I will consider legal action.

Yours truly,



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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