Visitor Question

Settlement for falling down a flight of stairs due to no lighting?

Submitted By: Maria (Fall River, Massachusetts)

I fell in my landlord’s house over a year ago. There was no lighting on the stairs. This was the third time I fell there, even though I told him many times over the past 3 years to put lighting on those stairs. It was a joke to him.

When I fell again I got hurt really bad. I had to call 911 and they took me to the hospital. I had multiple injuries including a fractured rib, whiplash in my back, and to this day I’m still being treated for my foot injury.

Could I get a good settlement for this?

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 Maria,

If you have been renting a home from the landlord, and there were no lights on the interior or exterior stairs in the house, you may have a difficult time pursuing a personal injury claim against the landlord. You would have had a duty to take reasonable action to mitigate the circumstances upon which might you might be injured.

In this case, reasonable action would have been to better illuminate the staircase by putting in brighter light bulbs, or lamps which would better light the staircase. By failing to do so, your injury claim might have been compromised.

Alternatively, if the staircase was outside and your residence was in an apartment owned or managed by the landlord, and the landlord knew, or should have known the lack of lighting presented a danger to residents and visitors, then the landlord would likely be liable for injuries to those persons legally upon the premises.

The amount of your settlement will be a derivative of the amounts you had to pay for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages caused by the fall.

If you have questions about your claim, or the applicability of Massachusetts law, seek the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.

Learn more here: Dangerous Stairways

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 with your claim,

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