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Can a Landlord Be Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?

When you are a tenant, you typically have control over the property for the time frame outlined in the lease. Most injuries that occur on the property during the time you are a renter will not be the fault of the landlord. However, landlords can be held responsible for some types of incidents that lead to injuries, including slip and fall claims. Here, we want to review situations where a landlord could be held liable for a slip and fall accident.

What is the Landlord Responsible For?

In the state of Georgia, landlords have certain responsibilities to tenants. These responsibilities are outlined in GA Code § 44-7-14 and GA Code § 44-7-13.

As per Georgia Code § 44-7-13, the landlord is required to maintain the premises in a state of repair and assumes liability for any substantial improvements implemented on the premises with their consent. According to Georgia Code § 44-7-14, the landlord is also held accountable for damages resulting from faulty construction or a failure to uphold the premises in good repair.

In the event a tenant sustains a slip and fall injury due to the negligent actions of the landlord or as a result of defective construction, the tenant may be able to recover compensation for their injury expenses and other damages.

There will need to be a comprehensive investigation into the incident in order to determine liability. Even if the landlord was negligent or if there was an issue with construction (or construction materials) of the property, that does not necessarily mean that the landlord will be held responsible for the incident. In Georgia, the law also specifies what can happen if there is shared fault for the incident. 

Georgia operates under a modified comparative negligence system, which states that any individual 50% or more responsible for causing their own injury will not be able to recover compensation. So, along with determining whether or not the landlord was negligent in some way, there will also need to be an examination into potential shared fault for the incident.

What Does the Lease State?

One major consideration revolving around slip and fall claims is what the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant states. A landlord cannot claim to have absolutely no responsibility for a premises liability incident through a lease agreement. However, there may be specific terms in the agreement that outline the responsibilities of the tenant during the duration of the lease.

For example, the lease may indicate changes or improvements the tenant is allowed to make, and the lease may also state who is responsible for making repairs or maintenance on the property. When determining liability for a slip and fall incident, the lease should be examined closely before any claim against an at-fault party gets filed.

Contact a Premises Liability Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a slip and fall accident and you believe your landlord to be responsible for the incident, you should reach out to an attorney today. Slip and fall accident claims are complicated, but when you have a Newnan County premises liability lawyer helping, you will have an advocate with the resources needed to assist you throughout the entire process. They will investigate the incident, handle communication with other parties involved, and work to recover the compensation you are entitled to.