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What If I'm Injured in a Home Someone Doesn't Own?

With the economy growing and expanding, real estate prices are only continuing to climb across the country. That means being able to afford a home is becoming more difficult, and thus more and more people are turning to renting in order to find a place to live. There are numerous advantages to this—not having to fix things that break, keeping expenses down, and much more.

However, because renters don’t own their home, they usually don’t carry homeowner’s insurance. When that’s the case, what happens when you visit a rented property and accidentally become injured? With homeowner’s insurance, you’d be able to pursue a claim on their liability coverage to compensate you for the damages you suffer. But what do you do when the person you were visiting doesn’t have homeowner’s insurance?

How Renter’s Insurance Works

Fortunately, most landlords and property management companies these days require their tenants to carry renter’s insurance, which is essentially a toned-down version of homeowner’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is designed to protect the renter from disasters that can happen, but doesn’t include coverage for things that are not their responsibility like damage to the rented home, apartment, condo, or other residence.

Renter’s insurance first and foremost carries personal liability coverage, which is coverage for any liability that the renters may face when in possession of their home. This includes things like premises liability injuries for things like slipping on a wet floor, falling objects, and dog bites. These types of incidents are the renter’s responsibility because they occur as a direct result of the renter’s actions, and were not due to any negligence on behalf of the landlord or property manager.

When Property Managers Are at Fault

Property managers are not always immune from things that happen on a rented property, however. For example, if someone visiting a property trips over an uneven segment of sidewalk and injures themselves in the fall, the landlord could be responsible for it. Outdoor sidewalks are not a renter’s responsibility to fix, and thus the onus is on the landlord to either repair the uneven sidewalk or clearly indicate the presence of the trip hazard so passersby can avoid it.

External factors or issues are not the only things landlords can be held responsible for—they could even be found to be negligent when it comes to the condition of the properties they’re renting. Say, for example, that they rent a property which has a leaking faucet, and that leak causes both mold growth beneath that sink, and water to occasionally drip onto the smooth floor. A guest who comes to the home, slips on the water on that floor, and breaks their ankle could sue the landlord for damages, since fixing the leaky sink is the landlord’s responsibility. Furthermore, the renters themselves could actually sue the landlord for damages should the mold growing under the sink from that same leaky faucet cause them to become seriously ill and have to miss work in order to recover.

This means if you’ve suffered a serious injury on a rented property, you could likely have multiple parties to pursue for the damages you have sustained. Figuring out which one can sometimes be tricky, but if you work with a qualified and experienced Martin County personal injury attorney, you can make sure to pursue the right party, or even both if a unique situation presents some form of shared responsibility.

Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 today to schedule a case evaluation and find out more about your rights when you’ve been injured!