Visitor Question

What are management’s responsibilities?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Connecticut)

I fell over one of many deep cracks/holes in the parking lot of my apartment complex. I was going to the mailbox when I tripped and went flying and landed on my left knee.

It was a Saturday so I had to wait until Monday to call the office.

They never asked me if I was alright after I told them I tore up my knee. All she said was, “We will send someone out to fill it” and then hung up the phone. Granted it is only 24 hours later, but they didn’t even put up “caution” signs.

At the time of my injury, I was on my way out to see my mom at her nursing home and then to work, so I quickly cleaned my knee and taped some gauze over it. I had to change because there was blood on my pants. Also, while I was still on the ground a man who had pulled over told me to take some pictures, so I did.

When I got to work (I work in an ER) it was super busy and short staffed, so I just asked for some bacitracin and band aids from the PA. It still hurts but it is healing.

My question is, shouldn’t the management have come and checked out the situation and me when I reported it? And I understand fixing the holes may take some time, BUT shouldn’t they put up Caution signs? Is there anything else they are legally obligated to do? Thanks.

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,

The answer is multifaceted…

Yes. Management did have a duty to repair the cracks and holes in the parking lot, or at a minimum, place cautionary signs or tape near enough to the cracks and holes so that people would see them in time to avoid falling. To get a better understanding of who’s liable, read about the duties of property owners and visitors.

However, for liability to attach, most courts have held that the management company must have known, or should have known, a dangerous condition existed on their property and with that real or imputed knowledge failed to take remedial action.

In this case, it was less than 24 hours hours from the date of your slip and fall. The question now becomes whether or not the management company had sufficient notice of the cracks and holes in time to repair them.

If there were previous reported incidents of slipping and falling and the management company failed to repair the cracks and holes, the management would quite likely be liable for injuries sustained by persons who fell and were injured.

In addition, it can be argued the management company should have known about the cracks and holes well before you fell, if those cracks and holes could have been discovered during routine maintenance of the parking lot.

If by now the cracks and holes have not been repaired, the management company will certainly be liable for injuries sustained by persons who fall because of the hazard.

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: August 23, 2016

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