Visitor Question

Landlord refused to fix dangerous carpet…

Submitted By: Anonymous (South Gate, CA)

My mother tripped over a huge piece of carpet that has been ripping for over 2 years. We are renting and have a contract with this company, who we have asked to replace this old carpet. They came to “inspect” it twice during these 2 years, but deny or ignore the problem.

My mother suffered a hit to her forehead, it is swollen, in addition to rug burn marks to both her knees and hand. She is now seeing her doctor. This is very upsetting because it could have been prevented if the landlord would have listened to our concerns, but instead we were ignored.

Any perspective on what to do in this case? Thank you and have a blessed day.

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.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Your mother may have the basis of a personal injury claim against the property owner or leasing company. Inasmuch as the landlord sent someone on two occasions to inspect the damaged carpet, there should be no disagreement that they were on notice the carpet was damaged, and that there existed a likelihood someone might trip and fall and be injured.

However, there is a legal concept called “duty to mitigate.” Mitigation means to do whatever is reasonable to protect oneself from injury. In the case of a damaged carpet, mitigation might  include cutting the damaged area, cordoning the area off, or otherwise doing whatever is reasonable to assure that you, or someone walking on the carpet won’t be injured.

Be sure your mother continues to seek medical treatment. Have her keep copies of medical bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, costs of travel to treatment, bandages, etc.), and get a letter from her employer verifying lost wages during the time your mother was recovering.

Contact the landlord and explain your mother was injured and incurred medical bills and related costs. Ask them to reimburse your mother for those losses. If they refuse, and your mother’s injuries are serious, requiring additional medical treatment, seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney in your area. Most personal injury attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation.

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: May 14, 2017

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