Sustaining an injury in a slip and fall accident can be expensive. It can result in high medical bills despite your health insurance and require that you miss work as well. Of course, severe injuries can cause pain and discomfort for a long time as well. Because of this, you should be entitled to compensation if you hurt yourself on someone's property through no fault of your own. But who exactly should be held responsible?
A lot of people assume that if they're hurt on a private property, then the property owner or HOA is responsible. However, the only way that you can prove that the owner or HOA is liable for the injury that you experienced on one of their properties is if you can prove that the owner or HOA breached their duty of ordinary and reasonable care. In fact, you will need to prove that the HOA had the authority to manage, supervise, direct, regulate, or restrict the property on which you were injured.
In some cases, the HOA may argue that no hazard existed. For example, if you tripped over a curb and broke your leg as a result. It would be argued that the curb is not a hazard, that the injury was just bad luck, or worse, a result of your clumsiness. In other cases, they may argue that they didn't know about the hazard. This can happen if someone else spilled liquid onto the ground and you slipped in it, injuring yourself. In such a scenario, the HOA would not be liable because they had no control over the hazard nor did they have the opportunity to control it.
According to the law, constant monitoring and inspections of a property are not required, only regular inspections made at reasonable intervals.
An experienced attorney will be able to determine if an owner or HOA is liable for injuries sustained on their property. For example, there may be witnesses that can attest to the fact that the hazard was present well before you were injured. If recent inspections revealed issues that were not taken care of or if inspections haven't been performed for some time, the HOA could be found liable.
If you've been injured on a private property, then contact us at the Law Office of Gloria Seidule for a free consultation and case evaluation today.