Tenants in Missouri who become injured on property they lease can bring a lawsuit against their landlord to recover damages for their injuries. But it is not easy to win.
The General Rule on Tenant Injury Claims
The law, by default, gives landlords broad protections against their tenants. In fact, the general rule is that a landlord does not owe a duty of care to a tenant or a tenant’s invitee and, therefore, is not liable for personal injuries caused by the dangerous conditions of the premises.
Exceptions that Permit Tenants to Recover Money for Their Injuries
That said, there are three recognized exceptions to the general rule, though:
- When the landlord has knowledge of a dangerous condition, and the condition is not discoverable by the tenant, but the landlord fails to disclose the condition;
- When the injury occurs in a common area of the property; and
- When a landlord is responsible for making repairs, but negligently fails to do so.
The Devil is in the Details
Given these exceptions, the devil is in the details of the lease and, if there was one, the move-in inspection.
The move-in inspection should detail the condition of the property when it is turned over to the tenant. It should also point out all potential dangers known to the landlord and/or discovered by the tenant.
The lease will outline the duties of the landlord to keep the property free of danger. It will also spell out the landlord’s obligations regarding repairs and maintenance.
The lease may also contain an “exculpatory clause” to protect the landlord. Essentially, the exculpatory clause gives the landlord a get out of jail free card for tenant injuries. That said, Missouri has strict requirements before Courts will enforce exculpatory clauses.
Because of this, it is important to have an experienced St. Charles personal injury attorney review the lease documents to determine all available rights and remedies.
What Are Common Causes of Tenant Injuries?
Claims for tenant injuries are often the result of:
- Fall on dangerous stairs
- Fall from defective decks
- Fire started by out-of-code appliances
- Violence from other tenants
- Crimes by unknown third persons
- Fall from improperly secured window
What Should I Do If I Was Injured On Property I Rent?
If you are a tenant and you have been injured on property you rent, you need a St. Charles personal injury attorney to review the documents and fight for your financial recovery.
Contact the Law Office of Andrew S. Martin, LLC today to schedule a consultation with our Missouri tenant’s rights attorney. You’ll learn more about your rights and options and how our firm can help you secure financial compensation. Call 636-330-9644 or use our online contact form.