Stair broke inside the apartment I'm renting and I fell...
(Altamonte Springs, FL)
I am renting from a landlord and have been here 7 months. Since then I have had the dishwasher, washing machine, refridgerator, and now the stair break or not work at all!! This is just showing how many things have broken since I have been there for only a short time.
The stairs are the type with space in between them. If that makes sense. They seem to be concrete stairs I would guess covered with carpet. I was walking down (I am only 115lbs) and the whole stair just gave way. It kinda looks like half the stair just came down at an angle...maybe the bolts broke?
I'm not sure, but the stair was half way up in a two story loft, so I fell the rest of the way down the stairs. I hurt my shoulder, my wrist feels sprained, and my ankles as well...this just happened so I really don't know what all is hurt. I'm still in shock!
Do I have any legal grounds to stand on? I am going to go now and take a video, and pics with my cell phone. If nothing is broken on me, and it's just the emotional trauma I have, as I don't know if another one will break as well, would I have grounds for a claim? Where do I go from here? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Stair broke inside the apartment I'm renting and I fell...":
Anonymous (Altamonte Springs, FL):
While it appears your injuries may not be serious, nevertheless seek medical attention immediately. There is always the possibility you may have sustained internal organ damage. If you have been seriously injured, speak with a personal injury attorney about your claim.
Landlords in the State of Florida have a legal obligation toward their tenants, and are required to take reasonable actions to assure their tenants are safe from undue harm and injury.
In furtherance of this obligation, Landlords must "Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes..."
If a landlord fails in his or her legal obligation under law, and a tenant sustains losses, the tenant has a right seek recovery for damages caused by the landlord. Damages can be in the form of medical bills, reimbursement for property damage, lost wages, and in some cases for pain and suffering.
To read Florida's Primary statute (law) on Landlord's obligations toward tenants, and tenants' rights to recover compensation, go to:
Landlord’s Obligation to Maintain Premises
Florida Statutes, Title VI Chapter 83, Section 83.51
Tenant Right of Action for Damages
Florida Statutes, Title VI Chapter 83, Section 83.55
Speak with your landlord. In the event your landlord refuses to promptly repair the stairs according to Florida Building Codes, then you may consider terminating the lease. If you have sustained damages, including medical bills, you may file an injury claim with your landlord's insurance company, although it's advisable you speak with an attorney prior to doing so.
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,
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