Visitor Question

Fall on Rented Property…

Submitted By: Linda (Santa Barbara, CA)

I went outside of the home I was renting to replace a light bulb and was carrying a large step stool.

I must have tripped over the legs of the step stool and went down face first, either on the pavement or the ladder – it happened so fast I don’t know.

I got a black and blue eye and swollen cheek almost immediately. I went to the doctor the next day and found I had a broken bone. I had surgery on December 23.

I called the landlord before I knew I had to go to the hospital for surgery and asked if she’d have the light bulb replaced, since I’d fallen trying to do it and had a black eye.

Even though it’s not her job to take care of it, I assumed I’d at least get a call back from her saying she’s sorry or something, but she did nothing.

I’m wondering what is my next step? Is there any way I can get compensated for my injuries and the medical bills for my surgery? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Linda,

Maybe… You will probably not be able to succeed in pursuing a legal claim against the apartment management and owners for negligence. From the facts you present there doesn’t seem to be any negligence at all. On the other hand, apartment owners, like homeowners, normally carry “homeowners insurance”. To be successful in a personal injury claim against a homeowners policy proving negligence is a not a legal requirement.

Contact the apartment manager again. Remind her of your injuries. Tell her you demand to speak with their insurance company. You were injured on their premises and have a right to file a claim. If the apartment manager gives you the name and contact information of their insurance company you can proceed with your claim for reimbursement for medical costs from there.

If the apartment manager fails to cooperate you can always consider filing a small Claims Court action against the apartment management and owners. In the State of California the maximum Small Claims limit is $7,500 dollars. It isn’t a lot but it may be enough to cover your claim.

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

Best of luck,

Published: December 26, 2011

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