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Living in a neighborhood governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) involves certain responsibilities and expectations. When you become a resident, you enter into a contract with your HOA that spells out community rules and regulations. These rules are in place to ensure fairness, safety, and the overall well-being of the neighborhood. In exchange for these services, residents pay annual dues to the HOA.

But what if your HOA fails to fulfill its responsibilities, like neglecting a hazard in a common area that leads to injuries? In the state of Florida, if you’re injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you have the option to file a premises liability claim. This holds true for HOAs as well. Property owners in Florida are legally obligated to take steps to prevent injuries.

So, if your HOA is found negligent, and you suffer an injury as a result of their failure, it might be appropriate to consider a premises liability lawsuit. Before taking legal action against your HOA, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney who understands HOA law. They can assess the strength of your case and help you know your legal rights and obligations. Keep in mind that HOA regulations, state laws, and the specific circumstances of your case will all factor into the outcome of your claim.

Understanding Premises Liability Claims

In Florida, the law looks at premises liability cases in terms of negligence. To win in a premises liability claim you need to prove four main elements:

  • Duty of Care: The property owner or manager had a duty to keep you safe.
  • Breach of Duty: They didn’t do a good job of keeping you safe.
  • Causation: Their failure led to your injury.
  • Damages: You suffered real harm because of the injury.

In Florida, you must prove the above to win a premises liability case. However how a case is handled will depend on different circumstances including whether you were invited on the property, trespassing, or had permission to be there.

Invitees, Licensees, Trespassers

Florida law divides people on someone else’s property into three groups based on why they are there:

  • Invitees: These are people who are invited by the property owner for a good reason. Property owners have to take really good care of them.
  • Licensees: These are people who have permission to be there, but it’s for their benefit.
  • Trespassers: These are people who are there without permission.

If you have been injured on a property, once it is determined which group you belong to, the next step is to prove responsibility. Invitees can show that the property owner or HOA didn’t regularly check for and fix dangerous issues. Licensees can use photos and stories to prove the HOA knew about the danger but did not fix it. Trespassers can provide proof that dangerous things were put there on purpose or ignored.

No matter which group you’re in, proving that something dangerous caused your injury is key. Strong evidence that backs your story, including any witnesses, videos, or medical records can help build your case. Similarly, showing that your injuries led to significant long-term problems can be important and backed by photos of injuries, medical records and bills, and statements from your medical team.

Seeking Legal Counsel

Suing your HOA for premises liability usually arises when you suspect that the HOA has neglected its responsibility to upkeep common areas and guarantee the safety of both residents and visitors.

If you’ve suffered an injury due to the HOA’s negligence, it’s crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney. My goal would be to conduct a thorough investigation and guide you through the legal process. Contact Leonard J. Valdes today to ensure that you receive the compensation and justice you rightfully deserve.