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Slip and Fall at Condominium Complex

When living in a condominium complex, the one thing we expect is that the area will be kept safe and secure. For example, the HOA or condominium management should deal with any potentially dangerous hazards. If they can’t deal with a problem immediately, they should at least inform of the hazard. Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect those who are injured as a result of negligence from a homeowner’s association (HOA) or condominium management.

Proving Negligence In Slip and Fall Injury

While reading this, you might be wondering whether or not you have a case. Often, we see people asking about landlord liability, tenant liability, and who is responsible for injuries and accidents. Across the country, many states work on the theory of negligence. For your condo slip and fall accident lawyer to win the case, they need to prove the following:

  • That the condominium or HOA had a duty of care towards you (and all other residents).
  • That this duty of care was breached (we’ll look at examples in the next section!).
  • That you were injured as a result of this breach.
  • That you experienced physical or psychological damage from this breach.

If you weren’t injured, it’s almost impossible to claim compensation. If you slipped and fell in or around the condominium building, your lawyers will assess negligence to decide whether or not you have a potential claim. Of course, you won’t be able to claim for pre-existing injuries - only those caused by the accident in question.

Common Examples of Condominium Slip and Falls

At The Injury Firm, we’ve seen all sorts of injuries over the years. While some come from restaurants and stores, a percentage also comes from condominiums. For example, some fall over liquid or trip over loose wiring in an elevator. Alternatively, it might be a faulty elevator that causes an accident. In the parking lot, you might experience a slippery surface. In the past, we’ve dealt with cases where the concrete in the parking lot of a commercial property was torn up and caused a trip.

Elsewhere, you might have experienced a problem with mold, gym accidents, falls in the stairway, flooding, and more. At all times, an HOA or condominium should comply with all the relevant safety codes (state and local), building codes, and security regulations. With this last point, it includes sufficient lighting and security to prevent sexual assaults and other crimes around the grounds of the condominium.

No matter your accident, you may be entitled to compensation if the condominium complex was negligent. If someone is to blame, you shouldn’t have to deal with the medical bills and other costs that come your way. Instead, get in touch with the personal injury experts at The Injury Firm and we will do our best to protect your legal rights in this important matter.

Condominium Sidewalk Cases

Before we talk about compensation and our advice to you, we first want to explore the idea of condominium sidewalk cases. While researching for this guide, we saw a large number of people asking about the sidewalk. Winter brings snow, fall brings leaves to the ground, and even summer can present its fair share of hazards for the ground. Do you have a case after slipping on the sidewalk around a condominium building? This question is difficult to answer, and it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

In many states, there’s a principle called ‘sidewalk immunity’ and this is used to guide many cases like this. Mainly, this principle defines the difference between a sidewalk adjacent to private property and those with a common boundary to private residencies. In many states, private homeowners aren’t normally held accountable for sidewalks near to the property. However, this is reversed if the homeowner affected the safety of the sidewalk in some way with their actions.

What does this mean? While homeowners aren’t responsible for snow and ice, they may be liable when attempting to clear the ice but doing a poor job and making it more dangerous. This might seem simple enough, but it gets more complex with condominiums. Since HOAs and condominium companies often take money to maintain the property, this presents a different scenario entirely. Don’t worry, the state and courts aren’t ignorant of this area and all around the country there has been attention drawn to sidewalk slip and falls within condominium grounds.

In New Jersey, back in 2011, the Supreme Court suggested that sidewalks abutting condominium buildings should be considered private residences. The problem with this is that the sidewalks actually within the complex aren’t governed by the municipality; in other words, they have no authority over these sidewalks.

For the longest time, residents were left confused as to whether or not they could claim for compensation after a slip and fall accident on these sidewalks. Fortunately, the answer came in 2015 when a woman in New Jersey was awarded compensation after slipping on a sidewalk. Originally, the court sided with the HOA because it paid out to have the roads salted. Soon after, the decision of the lower court was reversed because the HOA didn’t extend this care to the sidewalks. The court said that the municipal authorities have no control over sidewalks in the condominium complex; therefore, the HOA is responsible for maintaining them.

To summarize, sidewalks are a difficult area to navigate within the slip and fall niche for condominium complexes. If you have experienced such an accident, we highly recommend reaching out to a condo slip and fall accident lawyer. We’ve mentioned New Jersey and how the situation varies from state to state, and we have experience with Fort Lauderdale and the Florida laws. These days, the sidewalk immunity laws do not normally protect condo associations because the sidewalks within complexes are often controlled by the associations rather than the municipality.

Obtaining Compensation For Personal Injury

When working with the right attorney, the ultimate aim will be to obtain the compensation appropriate for the seriousness of the accident and your injuries. If you’re wondering how the compensation process works, how much you’ll receive, and what you can claim, the answer is that it all depends. Here are some considerations when determining the size of compensation for a slip and fall victim:

  • Type of injuries
  • Extent of injuries (and their permanence)
  • The pain and suffering experienced
  • Your ability to work
  • Any experienced emotional trauma such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress

Sadly, a small percentage of slip and fall victims are left with brain damage, spinal cord damage, and other serious injuries. As you can imagine, these cases will demand more compensation than those with broken fingers and dislocations. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t make a claim with a lesser injury, because it will have still affected your life and caused medical bills, but this is important to remember when claiming for compensation.

Generally speaking, these bigger injuries will lead to higher medical bills, more time off work, and more pain and suffering - and these are three of the biggest damages we seek. With spinal cord damage, you might need months off of work. As well as losing income, you’re also missing out on earning potential with future promotions and career growth. With serious brain damage, some people are left unable to work at all.

Should you contact a condo slip and fall, accident lawyer? Yes, if you’ve been injured in a condominium complex and believe the HOA or condominium to be responsible for the injuries. The Injury Firm has dealt with injuries that have occurred in elevators, lobbies, pools, tennis courts, stairways, gyms, parking lots, and other areas of a complex.

How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

When working with a lawyer, you will eventually file a claim and seek compensation for damages caused in a slip and fall accident. But how does it work? After receiving a claim, the condominium association will normally get in touch with their insurance company and attorney. After filing the claim with the underwriter, the file will get an assigned adjuster and they will deal with the case. As the victim, you will get a letter from the adjuster or the attorney just to inform you of their position and how the process will go from this point forward.

From this point, your contact with the condo association board is actually minimal. Instead, the insurance company and the attorney will handle everything on their behalf. Unless you file a personal injury lawsuit, the board will have little to do themselves. The only thing they’ll really do is communicate when requests are made to produce documentation, camera footage, and other evidence.

Important Steps After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you slip or fall at a condominium complex, we recommend the following. If you don’t follow our advice and make a mistake, the debate on landlord liability and tenant liability won’t even matter.

  • Step 1 - Always look after yourself first and seek medical attention. Not only is this important for your health, but the medical reports and documentation will also go some way to proving your injuries.
  • Step 2 - Report the accident and ask for a copy of the resulting report. Like the medical documentation, this report will be used in any case that arises from the accident. With this in mind, be as honest and accurate as possible; there’s no need to exaggerate injuries or downplay them.
  • Step 3 - If the hazard still exists, take pictures or even a video for evidence. At this point, you can also talk to witnesses and get their contact information.
  • Step 4 - Reach out to The Injury Firm for professional assistance.

Do you need a lawyer after an accident in a condominium building? Some people have taken on cases themselves, but there are more complexities to a condominium slip and fall case compared to any other. For instance, in Florida, condominium associations have a duty to look after a swimming pool and maintain it regularly. However, they don’t need to provide a lifeguard. It’s these intricacies that can make an insurance claim difficult in this area. The lawyers at The Injury Firm have experience and know-how to seek compensation while protecting your legal rights and avoiding common mistakes.

When you contact us, you get a free case evaluation and we’ll take your case seriously because we know how it has affected you and your family. Depending on the details of the case, we may claim for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, loss of earning potential, and more. If the insurance company doesn’t make a respectable offer, we have the resources you need to take the case in front of a judge.

This area of law is always evolving, and we saw this again in the Smith v Amberdeen Village Association in Michigan. Here, it considered non-co-owner occupants and their protection compared to the protection of co-owners.

Hold Condominium Associations Accountable Today

In Florida, we’re fortunate enough to be in a state where the laws are made to hold the HOAs and condominiums accountable for their negligence. At all times, they should keep the property free from hazards and deal with any that do arise in a timely manner. If a hazard can’t be fixed quickly, guests and residents alike should be made aware of it.

Whether it’s water in the parking lot or a faulty elevator, compensation is deserved after negligence and breach of duty caused serious injuries. In some cases, the injured parties are able to obtain compensation from the management company as well as the condominium association.

Our team at The Injury Firm is dedicated and passionate about helping those who have been injured through no fault of their own. Nobody should be left to deal with hefty medical bills and lost income alone when the accident was a result of somebody else’s negligence. With a professional and reliable condo slip and fall accident lawyer, you can navigate the tricky legal battle and hold the HOA or condominium accountable.

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Fort Lauderdale

1608 East Commercial Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000

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