Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC

What Are Your Legal Rights if You Were Injured at an Apartment Complex in Pennsylvania?

June 30, 2023

While many people call apartment complexes home, they can also be dangerous. Poor construction, inadequate maintenance, negligent security and a variety of other issues can present health and safety risks for residents and their guests. If you’ve been injured at an apartment complex in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to financial compensation, and you will want to speak with a lawyer about your legal rights as soon as possible.

When Can an Apartment Complex Be Held Liable for an Injury?

Apartment complexes can be held liable for residents’ and guests’ injuries in various circumstances. In many cases, claims against apartment complexes are governed by the law of premises liability. Under Pennsylvania’s premises liability law, apartment complexes (and other businesses) have a legal duty to ensure that their properties are reasonably safe, and if they fail to uphold this duty, they can be held financially responsible.

As a result, residents and their guests can pursue premises liability claims against apartment complexes for a wide variety of accidents. This includes (but is by no means limited to) accidents involving:

  • Slippery walking surfaces in hallways, mail rooms, lobbies and other common areas
  • Trip hazards in common areas
  • Elevator malfunctions
  • Unreasonable dangers at pools, clubhouses, dog parks, car washes and other amenities
  • Construction defects that present safety hazards
  • Poor lighting in parking lots, parking garages, stairwells and hallways
  • Stairwells and other common areas that have fallen into disrepair

Apartment complexes can also be held liable for accidents that result from their failure to provide adequate security, failure to observe building codes and other similar types of failures. In short, if you were injured at an apartment complex and you have any reason to suspect that the complex is to blame, you should discuss your legal rights with a lawyer promptly.

What Compensation Can You Receive After an Accident at an Apartment Complex?

If you have a claim against an apartment complex in Pennsylvania, what financial compensation can you receive for your injury? Under Pennsylvania’s premises liability law, accident victims are entitled to financial compensation for all of the costs of their injuries. This includes not only out-of-pocket costs such as medical expenses, prescriptions and lost earnings but also “non-economic” costs such as pain and suffering, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Determining how much you are entitled to recover will require an in-depth assessment of not only your costs to date but also the costs you are likely to incur in the future. When you engage a law firm to represent you, the firm’s attorneys will work with doctors and other experts to make sure they are seeking the full compensation you deserve. The severity of your injuries will be a key factor, and you will need to follow your law firm’s advice to make sure you are documenting your injury-related costs as thoroughly as possible.

What if the Apartment Complex Isn’t Liable?

Now, what if the apartment complex isn’t liable? While apartment complexes can be held liable for residents’ and guests’ injuries in many circumstances, they aren’t liable in all cases. If the apartment complex isn’t responsible for what happened, you will need to rely on your law firm to determine if you have any other claims available.

One example of a potential claim is a claim under another resident’s insurance policy. Many apartment residents have renter’s insurance. While most people buy renter’s insurance to cover property loss in the event of a fire, flood or theft, renter’s insurance policies can also provide liability coverage when the policyholder is responsible for someone else’s injuries.

Let’s say you were injured in a dog attack at an apartment complex in Pennsylvania. This is a scenario in which the apartment complex might not be liable. If the apartment complex isn’t liable, your law firm may be able to help you file a claim under the dog owner’s insurance policy. The same could be true if you got injured by a resident who was driving negligently in the parking lot or who created a safety hazard while moving in or out. 

How Do You File a Claim After an Apartment Accident in Pennsylvania?

Regardless of the type of claim you need to file, there are some steps you will need to take promptly to protect your legal rights. For example, as soon as possible, you should:

  • See a doctor for diagnosis and treatment;
  • Take photos of your injuries and the accident site (if possible);
  • Take detailed notes about the accident;
  • Contact your employer if you need to take time off from work; and,
  • Contact a local law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation.

If you contact our law firm for help, we will go over the accident with you in detail, and we will walk you through the process of evaluating your legal rights. If it appears that you may have a claim, we will conduct an investigation, and then we will determine if there is sufficient evidence to move forward. If sufficient evidence exists, we will file your claim, calculate just compensation for your current and future losses, and work to negotiate a favorable settlement while preparing to go to trial if necessary.

How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim?

Any time you think you may have a personal injury claim, it is important to take action promptly. While you technically have up to two years to file a claim under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, you do not want to wait anywhere near this long to speak with an attorney. Especially in premises liability cases, evidence can disappear quickly, and if you wait too long to seek help, it may not be possible to recover the financial compensation you deserve.

Discuss Your Claim with a Lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C.

Were you injured at an apartment complex in Pennsylvania? If so, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys in confidence as soon as possible. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced premises liability attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C., call 888-777-7098 or send us your contact information online now.