Visitor Question

Is landlord responsible for my injuries?

Submitted By: Angie (Newton, MS)

I was walking up a step to a trailer that I rented. The second step broke and I completely fell through the step.

I had finally become close to being back pain free from a previous injury. The level of pain was a 2 on a scale from 1-10. This new injury re-aggravated my back and I have received 3 steroid injections and 2 nerve blocks because of it. I also injured my knee and have gone through physical therapy twice. I still presently have knee pain. I was diagnosed with Chondromalacia patellae (CMP) of both knees. I have missed 3 months of work.

The other tenant had just fallen through the porch a month before I fell. Then another tenant, while walking up the steps, the whole step fell.

I believe the landlord should have known the wood was old when the other tenant fell through the porch. I was not informed the other tenant fell through the porch until I told them I fell through the steps. Who is responsible for my injuries?

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 Angie,

The landlord may be liable for compensation for some of your injuries. From the fact you present you may have some hurdles to clear.

You mentioned there were additional tenants who had been injured from the same set of steps. If you knew there remained a good possibility the steps may be dangerous to you as well, and you took no action to mitigate or prevent yourself from being injured the courts may wonder why.

It might be compared to a person who had been previously warned about a large hole in the ground directly in the path where they walked every day. They had been previously told by others who had been injured from falling in the hole of the existing danger. Nevertheless they (you) walked right into it. The courts might say you could have filled the small hole with some dirt, or at least avoided it and found another way around it.

The same with your steps. If you knew they were dangerous and continued to climb them you might be out of luck. You would have had the right and possibly a duty to repair the faulty steps if they were the only means of entering your trailer. In that case, you could have deducted that amount from your rent.

The second hurdle might be a question about the degree of liability the landlord would have as a result of the preexisting injury to your back. There is usually a great deal of controversy over the degree of liability a landlord has for a preexisting injury.

The third hurdle you may have is trying to convince an insurance company or court that the injuries to your knees were solely as a result of the fall. Chondromalacia Patellae is normally referred to as a “runner’s disease”. It is normally not caused by one fall. Normally Chondromalacia Patellae is a gradual disease of the knee caused by repeated and long term pounding or jumping. Chondromalacia Patellae is normally and effectively treatable by resting the knee and adhering to a proper physical therapy program. In only a small amount of patients is surgery necessary.

We hope the information we have provided will aid you in making your decision about pursuing your case against the landlord.

Learn more here: Liability in Personal Injury Claims

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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