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Wrongful Death Due to Landlord’s Negligence

Many people are unaware of their rights when loved ones sustain serious injuries on a landlord’s property leading to death. There are chances that the claims adjuster or landlord may lead the victim’s family astray, giving them the impression that nothing can be done about their situation and that going to court will only make matters worse.

Most people shy away from pursuing litigation, as they fear – if they live there too – that they will be evicted and will not be able to find a new home for their family. However, in California, premises liability laws allow victims and their families to file a lawsuit against the landlord and receive compensation to recover damages related to the loss of a loved one. It is best that you understand your rights as a tenant and what you can do if you or your loved one is seriously injured due to a landlord’s negligence.

When the Landlord is Liable under California Premises Liability Law

The owner of a building or land is required to keep the premises safe for use by its residents and public using it, and may be responsible for injuries or death occurring on it. A tenant has the right to file a lawsuit against the landlord for injuries or death of a loved one, if it is caused by the landlord’s failure to maintain the property and keep it safe, regardless of whether the landlord is living on the property.

If a person has been hired to perform certain work on the premises on behalf of the landlord, such as a janitor, security guard, and others, they may be subject to the same liability. In some cases – depending on the employment relationship between the parties – a security or janitorial firm, for example, may be held liable for a death or injury caused to the residents by their conduct.

What Areas of the Property are Landlord’s Responsibility?

A landlord is responsible for almost all common areas of the property, including:

  • Floors
  • Hallways
  • Stairs
  • Handrails
  • Unmarked rises
  • Store displays
  • Lifts
  • Swimming pools

In addition, landlords are responsible for warning tenants about any latent defects and dangerous conditions they are aware of, and must disclose them at the time of signing the leasing agreement. They are also required to complete repairs in a timely manner, unless the tenant has assumed responsibility for taking care of them.

What Damages can you Recover in a Wrongful Death Case Against a Landlord?

If your loved one has died because of a dangerous condition on the property or negligent actions of the landlord, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the landlord. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you can potentially sue for:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of support and society
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost earnings
  • Punitive damage

Understanding the premises liability laws in California can be difficult for a grieving family that wants to sue a landlord for the wrongful death of a loved one. It is best that you work with an experienced San Francisco wrongful death attorney to understand your rights and options, and to obtain legal counsel moving forward. For more information and to schedule a consultation, contact our office today at 415-835-6777.

Premises Liability Attorney