Pre-Existing Condition Made Worse by Fall on Steps...

by Amy

I was walking up the wooden steps to the trailer I rent and the top step completely broke in half and I fell.

Prior to this fall I already had 2 bulging discs in my lower back and I had been getting treatment for my back for almost 7 months. Finally I was almost pain free... a 2 on a pain scale from 1-10, but after the fall the level increased to 8.

I am scheduled for another back injection. The MRI has been repeated and there are still two bulging discs present. I also injured my right knee and was diagnosed with CMP of the knee. I have missed 3 weeks of work.

Is the landlord responsible for the pain I'm now experiencing and the set-back to my recovery?

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 "Pre-Existing Condition Made Worse by Fall on Steps...":

The party who owns the property, which is likely your landlord, is responsible to make regular inspections of the property and warn of dangerous or hazardous conditions. The step creates an interesting idea because the frequency with which a landlord should be expected to inspect this area is questionable.

Furthermore, whether the step is considered part of your responsibility (as attached to your trailer) is also questionable. Assuming that you do not own the unit and are merely renting, your landlord would be responsible for your injury as long as he/she is negligent.

Something that can be particularly helpful to your case is NOTICE. Have you given your landlord notice that the step was shaky or appeared to be broken? While it is not an essential element, putting landlords on notice is always helpful.

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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