You come home from work one night in the winter, and it's already dark at your apartment. On your way up the stairs, you trip and fall in the dark. You wind up catching your knee under yourself and tearing your ACL. It puts you in the hospital, where you need expensive surgery and then it takes months for you to heal. You can't work during that time.
As you play the incident back in your head, you realize that the stairs did not have any lights. That's why you tripped and fell; it's the root cause of the whole incident. Does that make this your landlord's fault?
It absolutely could. According to Florida building codes, the top landing of the stairs needs to have a light if the stairs are on the exterior of the building. If the stairs are inside the building, lighting is required at both the bottom and the top.
If your landlord opted not to install lighting or did not maintain the building properly -- perhaps ignoring requests to get the lights fixed for weeks before the incident -- then you may not be to blame for your injuries. Your landlord has to give you a safe living space that is up to code, and that's not what he or she provided.
In a situation like this, you must know what legal options you have to seek out compensation. You may need it to help cover your medical bills, your lost wages, the cost of rehabilitation and much more. Understanding your legal options helps you get the process started.