Falling Down Your Neighbor’s Stairs: Can You Sue?
If you’re visiting a neighbor’s house and you trip on his stairs, you could suffer serious injuries. Falls are a leading cause of both traumatic brain injury and paralysis, and can also cause broken bones and other serious harm. The injuries you sustain as a result of a fall could be very expensive and your financial loss will be even greater if you’re prevented from working either temporarily or permanently because of fall-related injuries.
Because you may experience major economic and personal losses from a fall, it’s important to explore your legal options with help from Miami premises liability attorneys. In many circumstances, you can pursue a claim against your neighbor to obtain compensation for the fall – and you should do so to make sure you have the money you need to rebuild after a fall has caused serious harm.
Suing Your Neighbor After a Fall Injury
When you fall down the stairs, it’s important to determine if your neighbor can be held responsible under Florida’s premises liability laws. Property owners aren’t necessarily responsible every single time someone gets hurt on their property. If you weren’t paying attention and your feet slipped out from under you, for example, your neighbor wouldn’t necessarily be at fault for a fall under these circumstances.
The key question is whether your neighbor was negligent or failed to fulfill his obligations in keeping you safe as a visitor to his home. If your neighbor failed to fulfill legal obligations as established by Florida’s premises liability laws, then your neighbor can be held accountable for any harm that resulted from your neighbor’s failure. This would mean your neighbor would be responsible for compensating you for injuries that happened as a direct result of the fall caused by his negligence.
Property owners who invite guests – like neighbors – to their homes for casual visits aren’t subject to the same strict requirements for maintaining their premises that owners of commercial properties are subjected to. But, they still do have some responsibilities for making sure their homes are reasonably safe.
If your neighbor failed to correct hazards your neighbor was aware of, or should have been aware of – and your neighbor did not warn you about hazardous conditions – then your neighbor can be held accountable if you got hurt because of theses hazards. If, for example, your neighbor knew that the railing was broken on the stairs or that a piece of carpet was coming up and creating a tripping hazard, your neighbor should have either fixed the issue or warned you about it before inviting you over and letting you go up or down the dangerous stairs.
If you can prove your neighbor failed to fulfill an obligation to maintain a reasonably safe premises, Miami premises liability attorneys can help you pursue a claim. Because your neighbor’s homeowners’ insurer should cover the costs, you shouldn’t feel guilty about suing either – that’s what insurance is for, and you shouldn’t be left without out-of-pocket losses when your neighbor has insurance that should cover costs.