The Lee Steinberg Law Firm and 1-800-LEE-FREE have been successfully handling Michigan personal injury cases for tenants against landlords and property managers for over 40 years. We have a team of experienced and aggressive Michigan landlord negligence injury lawyers dedicated to helping injured tenants get the compensation they deserve.
You pay nothing until we settle your Michigan landlord-tenant injury case.
Michigan landlord-tenant personal injury cases are a special type of case. Like a regular Michigan negligence case, the tenant in a rental apartment or home must prove the landlord or property manager was negligent in maintaining the building or common area and this negligence caused the tenant’s injuries.
Do Tenants Have Special Protections in Landlord-Tenant Personal Injury Cases?
Yes, Michigan tenants have special protections. Under MCL 554.139, landlords have a statutory duty to make the rental properties they rent are in reasonable repair and that all common areas are also fit for their intended use. These protections are greater than what a non-tenant receives. If the landlord fails to keep the rental property safe, and a tenant suffers an injury, like a broken ankle or neck pain, then the tenant may use these protections in filing a lawsuit to seek compensation for his or her injuries. MCL 554.139 says the following:
(1) In every lease or license of residential premises, the lessor or licensor covenants:
(a) That the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties.
(b) To keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, and to comply with the applicable health and safety laws of the state and of the local unit of government where the premises are located, except when the disrepair or violation of the applicable health or safety laws has been caused by the tenants wilful or irresponsible conduct or lack of conduct.
(2) The parties to the lease or license may modify the obligations imposed by this section where the lease or license has a current term of at least 1 year.
(3) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed, and the privilege of a prospective lessee or licensee to inspect the premises before concluding a lease or license shall not defeat his right to have the benefit of the covenants established herein.
The landlord-tenant statute has been in effect since 1968 and is the bedrock of Michigan landlord-tenant personal injury law. And these protections apply to all renters, whether you live in Detroit, Saginaw, Grand Rapids or in Traverse City.
What Protections for Renters in Michigan Exist?
Because tenants are protected by statute, there is a difference between Michigan landlord-tenant personal injury cases and standard Michigan slip and fall cases.
In Michigan personal injury landlord-tenant cases, in most situations building owners and their insurance companies cannot use the “open and obvious” defense to defend a lawsuit. The open and obvious defense allows building owners to dismiss cases in court involving defects that are considered there to be seen, or open and obvious, to an average person. The open and obvious defense is extremely dangerous for plaintiff’s in Michigan slip and fall cases.
However, landlords in most cases cannot use the open and obvious defense to defeat a tenant’s claim for personal injury. As a result, tenants may be able to bring a claim in court, and get their case heard by a jury, versus a non-tenant in the exact same situation.
Still, building owners and their insurance companies can use the “comparative negligence” defense. Comparative negligence refers to the negligence, or fault, of the tenant in causing the injury.
A jury will reduce the award a tenant can receive by the amount of fault she caused in producing her own accident. If the tenant is more than 50% at fault, comparative negligence acts as a complete bar to recovery and the tenant cannot receive any pain and suffering damages.
What types of cases do your Michigan landlord-tenant accident lawyers handle?
There are many different types of Michigan negligence cases involving a landlord-tenant relationship. Our Michigan rental injury lawyers are experts in handling these cases and represent tenants throughout the State of Michigan. Contact our legal team for a free consultation and get the legal advice you need to help get the compensation you deserve.
Some of the more common examples of Michigan landlord-tenant cases are listed below:
- Defective or rotting staircases
- Defective or rotting handrails
- Loose handrails or handrails that break
- Rotting or collapsing decks
- Porches that break or snap
- Collapsed ceilings
- Walkways with ice or snow that have not been properly maintained
What should I do if I am injured due to a landlord’s negligence or failure to take care of the rental property?
First, take photographs of the defective or dangerous condition that caused your injury. If there are screws missing from a handrail, or piles of ice and snow that was not taken care of, take photographs on your cell phone. If there were witnesses, get their names and telephone numbers.
You should also let the landlord or the property manager know about the incident. But make sure you take photographs to preserve what dangerous condition was before it gets fixed.
It is also important to contact an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who handles these type of legal issues and injury cases for tenants and renters in Michigan.
What is the Time Limit to Bring an Injury Cases Against a Landlord?
There are time limits in bringing a Michigan landlord-tenant personal injury case. This is called the statute of limitations and it is important to contact a lawyer and protect your legal rights.
In most situations, you have three (3) years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit against the property defendants, including the landlord or property manager. If you fail to bring a lawsuit within that time frame, you forever lose your right to get money damages for your injuries, including payment of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Michigan Injury Lawyers Protecting Tenants
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm is Michigan landlord-tenant law experts. We have represented tenants injured due to landlord negligence for over 40 years. Let our Michigan landlord-tenant lawyers help you. It is our goal to answer any questions you have and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Please call Lee Free and Michigan landlord negligence lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about Michigan tenant injury law and Michigan landlord-tenant accidents.
We are the Michigan landlord-tenant personal injury law experts. You pay nothing until we settle your Michigan landlord negligence case. Let us help you today.
Ask Lee Free
Q: My landlord is not taking care of the maintenance and repairs I have needed. What should I do?
A: Request for the repairs in writing – and keep a copy. Letters will serve as proof that you have asked for repairs to no avail. If repairs are still not made, contact the building department of the city you rent in and file a complaint. Request a city inspector to come to the rental to inspect the defects and the issues you are having.
Q: If I am injured at my rental property, should I get medical attention?
A: Yes, it is very important to get medical treatment if you were injured on a rental property. Even small injuries, such as bruising and swelling, can be a sign of a much more significant injury. Internal injuries that are minor can become very dangerous, especially after a fall.
Typical tenants injuries from a negligent landlord include broken legs, broken arms, elbow fracture, torn knee ligaments (MCL, ACL), tendon damage, back pain, neck injury, disc herniation, and closed head injury.
We at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have been handling landlord-tenant personal injury cases for decades. A tenant has special rights and protections that an average person doesn’t have, meaning the landlord has to make sure that their house or their apartment is in reasonable repair and that common areas are fit for their intended use.
So what does that mean? That means if you have a fall because of a broken up rotted porch or a broken up rotted walkway, or the railing broke, and the landlord knew about this and refused to take any action and it causes you an injury, give us a call and we can assist you.
We get calls weekly on stuff that frankly, the landlord had spent $15 or $50 fixing that this horrible injury would not have occurred. Railings giving way, porches breaking through are some of the typical examples of landlord-tenant cases that we have, falls within the home where the flooring was giving way or plaster was falling from the ceiling. We’ve had cases like that. Give our office a call, we can handle landlord-tenant cases all over the state, whether in Detroit, whether in Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Lansing, whatever city anywhere, just give us a call, 1-800–LEE-FREE. There are no fees, there’s no cost unless we win your case. And we look forward to representing and helping you.