I slipped while going down the stairs in my cousin’s apartment complex. The stairs were broken and the railing was hanging. I received a treatment from the ER for a sprained ankle, and had to go to therapy after. Who is at fault for the poorly maintained property?
Landowners and possessors of land owe a nondelegable duty to put and maintain the premises (including its buildings and structures) in reasonably safe condition [CC § 1714(a)]. If it is proven that the said landowner or possessor is liable, the claimant may have recoverable damages, depending on the injuries sustained due to the act or omission of the owner or possessor of the building or structure. At the very least, a person who has suffered injury through the fault of another is entitled to “be made whole”—i.e., to be restored insofar as is possible to his or her preinjury condition through a “compensatory” damages award (CC § 3281).
If it is proven that the plaintiff has sustained an injury which was legally caused by the tortious wrong of another, then the plaintiff is entitled to recover an amount of money that will reasonably compensate for all physical, mental and emotional detriment attributable to the injury. Such “(d)amages must, in all cases, be reasonable…” (CC § 3359), and there is no fixed rule for measuring compensatory damages.
If one sustains injuries that may be caused by another’s fault or negligence, it is best to work with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury to be properly guided on the proper steps to take.