Visitor Question

Negligent Landlord Fails to Repair Faulty Stair Rail…

Submitted By: (Manassas, Virginia, USA)

I fell down the stairs and was injured inside my home. When I first came to see the house I brought a few things to the attention of my landlord, including the fact that the stair rail was loose. The landlord stated it was only minor and ignored it.

Finally I lost my balance and fell down the stairs while holding the rail. I’ve been to the hospital and they found a lumbar strain injury. They gave me medicine and advised me to rest for at least six weeks.

In this situation is there anything I can do?

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 ,

You should take photographs of the loosened handrail and present them to your landlord. In a letter to her you should remind her she told you the looseness of the handrail was “minor”. If she balks when you ask her to pay for your medical bills, then ask her for the name of the insurance company who issued the policy for the residence.

If she still refuses you can file a claim in Small Claims Court. Most Small Claims Courts jurisdictional amounts are capped at $5,000. These courts also allow for Mental Anguish recovery.

So for instance when you fill out the Small Claims application and your medical and chiropractic bills to date amount to $1,000, you can sue for $1,000 in medical and chiropractic bills and $4,000 for pain and suffering related to your injuries.

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 18, 2011

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