In the state of Mississippi, landlords and property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe to prevent injuries. If a fall occurs on the property, the victim may be able to pursue financial compensation, depending on the circumstances. The area of law is known as premises liability. Whether you’re a landlord, owner, or a commercial or residential renter, it’s important to know when a landlord is liable for slip and fall injuries in Gulfport and other areas of Mississippi.
Liability Depends on Status of Injured Party
Whether a landlord is liable for your injury depends on why you were at the property and what right you had to be there. As a tenant, clearly you have a right to be at the property you’re renting. This means that under Mississippi law, you are considered an invitee. As an invitee, you are owed the highest level of care from the property owner. You must be provided with reasonably safe premises, and you must be warned of any dangers that aren’t obvious or in plain view.
Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care
In Mississippi, property owners are required to protect customers and tenants to some degree. The conditions of the premises that they own and are offering must be reasonably safe. To hold a landlord liable for an injury you suffered on their property, you must prove the following elements:
- The defendant owned or leased the property;
- The defendant was negligent;
- You were injured; and
- Your injuries occurred in large part because of the defendant’s negligence.
Proving that the defendant was negligent is one of the more difficult elements in a premises liability case. You must be able to show that the defendant did not maintain a reasonably safe property. This can be proven by showing that the landlord failed to fix broken steps or uneven concrete around the property. Providing evidence that you requested repairs for certain dangers or problems in the house that the landlord failed to fix can show negligence as well. For example, if your roof is leaking and you told the landlord many times and informed them that it is getting worse, responsibility for your slip and fall due to slippery conditions could fall on the landlord.
Comparative Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Another important factor of slip and fall cases in Mississippi is how the responsibility is split up between the defendant and the plaintiff. Mississippi slip and fall cases utilize a law known as pure comparative negligence. Under this law, slip and fall victims can pursue compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident and injuries. Even if the victim is 99 percent at fault, they can still pursue a slip and fall claim.
If the victim is successful and is awarded monetary compensation, their award will be reduced by the percentage that the court deems them responsible. For example, if the court awards the victim $100,000 and determines that they are 50 percent responsible, the victim will walk away with $50,000. If it had been determined that the victim was 99 percent responsible, the victim would take home $1,000.
If you were injured in a slip and fall case and believe your landlord is liable for your injuries, contact our Gulfport slip and fall attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.