There are two schools of thought on living in a Florida homeowners’ association (HOA): Some people view the environment as being too restrictive, while others appreciate the security, convenience, and amenities. Regardless of which side you occupy, the community lifestyle is massively popular in Florida. According to Realtor magazine, there are 48,500 HOAs in the Sunshine state that are home to more than 9.56 million residents. You might not opt to reside in one, but there is a good chance that you will encounter HOA living when visiting friends or family.
Fortunately, both residents and their guests are protected by Florida premises liability laws if hurt on HOA property. Just as any other property owner must maintain their spaces in a reasonably safe condition, a condo or homeowners’ associate can be held accountable. You should consult with a Miami premises liability lawyer if you were hurt, but you can read on for some basics.
Common Types of Accidents on HOA Property
The concept of premises liability allows victims to recover compensation from business and property owners who are negligent in managing their space. By “negligent,” the laws refer to the failure to exercise reasonable care and protect individuals from foreseeable harm. When HOA officials breach the duty to ensure that common areas within the community are safe, they increase the potential for accidents, such as:
- Drownings in swimming pools that are not properly gated or maintained;
- Respiratory disorders from improper use of pool chemicals;
- Legionnaire’s disease and other infections from failure to treat the pool;
- Slipping on slick surfaces and puddles;
- Tripping over maintenance equipment; and,
- Falls on and around playground equipment.
Note that the streets within a community are typically considered private, but there is still the risk of vehicle collisions. In most cases, you would pursue the at-fault driver or file a PIP claim with your own insurer. However, you may be able to seek compensation if the HOA was somehow negligent in maintaining thoroughfares within the community.
Legal Help with Premises Liability Claims
Though the HOA may be actually liable, it is the community’s liability insurer that you will deal with in pursuing monetary damages. You initiate the legal process by filing a claim, and it may be possible to settle. The next step is litigation if the insurer refuses to pay a fair amount. It is wise to trust a lawyer to handle such essential tasks as:
- Collecting evidence;
- Preparing all forms and submitting necessary documentation for an insurance claim;
- Discussing settlement options with the insurance company; and,
- Filing a lawsuit in court to ensure you receive full compensation for your losses.
Our Miami Premises Liability Attorneys Can Explain Your Remedies
For additional details on pursuing an HOA for injuries on community property, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can schedule a free case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL by calling (305) 371-6000 or visiting our website. Once we learn more about your circumstances, a premises liability lawyer can advise you on the legal process.