Condominiums are a popular dwelling in Miami. Traditionally, they were erected to provide homes for retirees who did not want to have the responsibility of upkeep associated with single-family homes. Usually, condominiums are run by homeowners' associations that collect dues to take care of repairs and maintenance for the exteriors of condos. These associations have various rights and obligations, and the people who own units must be members or shareholders of the association. When condominium accidents cause injuries or a wrongful death, it can be crucial to retain a Miami condominium accident lawyer.Legal Claims Based on Condominium Accidents
Accidents can occur in many different ways at condominiums. Injuries may arise from swimming pool accidents, negligent construction, broken or defective elevators, slip and falls, plumbing leaks, broken railings, falling ceilings, and broken balconies or decks. Slip and falls are probably the most common type of claim that arises out of the conditions of a condominium common area. Homeowners' associations usually owe a duty to maintain and make repairs in common areas, such as pools, stairwells, elevators, parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, security systems, and the exterior of the building. In some cases, the association may try to meet its duties by hiring an independent company to manage the property. However, even when a third party is hired to take care of maintenance and repairs, the homeowners' association can still be held responsible for injuries arising out of negligence.
In most cases, to recover damages from the homeowners' association, a condominium accident attorney in Miami will need to show that the homeowners' association knew or should have known about a dangerous property condition that caused injuries, but the homeowners' association failed to make repairs or issue warnings. For example, if you slip on an oil slick on a sidewalk in a common area, you would need to show that the homeowners' association knew or should have known about the slick, but it failed to put up warnings or clean it up. Actual notice might be shown through documentation kept by the homeowners' association or through testimony from unit owners who saw the oil slick and reported it to the association. More often, there is constructive notice, whereby a dangerous condition existed for so long that a reasonable homeowners' association would have noticed it and fixed the problem.
Often, our Miami condominium accident attorneys have seen defendants in premises liability cases allege the plaintiff's comparative negligence. They may argue that the plaintiff was wearing inappropriate shoes, not paying attention, or going to areas where unit owners or visitors were not expected to be, or that there were reasonable warnings in place, such as orange cones and signs, but they were ignored by the plaintiff. If the jury finds that you were negligent, your damages may be reduced by an amount proportionate to your degree of fault.
Homeowners' associations may also raise the defense of an open and obvious condition. For example, if a unit owner has seen a buckled carpet in a common area many times and even reported it to the homeowners' association, the homeowners' association may argue that the unit owner can be expected to avoid tripping over the buckled carpet, since it is an open and obvious condition. However, this is a factual issue, and the injured unit owner may still be able to pursue damages if there was no way to go around the condition, or under other circumstances.
Damages that may be recovered if liability is proven include economic and noneconomic damages. These may include lost wages, medical bills, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.Consult a Condominium Accident Lawyer in Miami
If you are injured or your child is harmed in a condominium accident, you should consult the experienced attorneys at our Law Offices of Robert Dixon. We represent victims and their families in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other cities in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Call us at 877.499.4878 or complete our online form.