Whilst sitting on the sofa in our rented house, a very heavy window blind fell on my head from 7ft, causing my head to bleed. I took a trip to the ER to have 3 staples put into my head and a CT scan.
When we got home, my husband inspected the blind and found that part of the bracket was missing from the wall on one side, making it unstable. This was covered by a small pelmet, which had also fallen off the wall due to the weight of the blind.
I had to go back to the ER 36 hours later with a really bad concussion. I was struggling to walk and one side of my body was numb. I was suffering from nausea and dizziness, which meant that I couldn’t drive for a week and my husband had to cancel a business trip to take care of me and our kids.
It’s now a week later and I am still not feeling great. Please advise if the landlord was negligent and if we have a case to claim for medical bills. What can be done?
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.
In most cases, landlords are bound by the legal doctrine of Premises Liability. This means landlords have a legal duty of care to do everything within reason to assure their tenants are safe from undue harm and injury.
When a landlord fails to take appropriate action to protect his or her tenants from injuries and as a result of that inaction a tenant is injured, the tenant may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. To get a better understanding of who’s liable, read more about the duties of property owners and visitors.
From the facts you present, the landlord may have failed in his or her duty of care. As a result of that failure, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and related expenses. However, if you or your husband hung the blinds, or changed them, the landlord may not be liable.
Hopefully, at the time of the accident you contacted the landlord and told him or her about your injury. The landlord likely has liability insurance. If so, the insurance should cover your damages. Damages can include your medical and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
While the landlord may be liable for your medical bills, including the three staples to your forehead and CT Scan immediately after the injury, it may be difficult to show the concussion was a direct result of the blind falling on your head. You waited almost three days before returning to the ER. The landlord and his insurance company may take the position the concussion was caused by a separate interim incident.
To succeed in a personal injury claim you will need a medical narrative from your physician directly linking the concussion to the blind falling on your forehead.
Ask the landlord to give you the name of his or her insurance company. Contact them and file a personal injury claim. You will be assigned a claim number, and soon after will be contacted by an insurance company claims adjuster.
Learn more here: Landlord Liability for Tenant Injuries
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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