Every September marks the beginning of hurricane season here in Florida. Rough winds, heavy rainfall and widespread flooding are all dangerous on their own. Put them together and they’re a recipe for disaster.
There’s not much that can be done during a natural disaster, but what about after? How can you get help paying for property damage and personal injury?
Here’s how to handle damage to various properties and your legal rights in Florida.
Personal property damage
A common example of hurricane damage is a tree falling on a house. There’s very little that can stop Mother Nature from uprooting a tree and dragging it across the yard until it hits the side of a house or falls on top of the roof. However, if that tree has been dead for quite some time, the owner could be held responsible for having it removed.
Continued failure to safely clear the tree means that the next time a hurricane, or even a heavy thunderstorm, comes through, the property owner could be held responsible for a neighbor’s property damages or personal injuries.
Business property damage
A business property operates the same way as personal property. Owners are liable under Florida law to protect visitors and invitees, including during a hurricane. If someone should be injured, they may have to pay for any lost wages or medical expenses the injured person accumulates.
Visitors are considered those people with implied permission to be on the premises. An invitee is there on the express invitation of the business owner.
If either should suffer from an injury because a hurricane exposed poor upkeep or building construction, visitors and invitees may have grounds to take the business to court.
That being said, it’s important to always consult with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney before you make this kind of decision.
Rental property damage
When you sign a contract to rent an apartment or house, the owner and manager have certain obligations to uphold. Just like a business owner, tenants should be housed in spaces that are safe, secure and up to code.
Any possible hazards or damages should be reported right away to the manager and property owner. In the event of a hurricane, these hazards can be much more dangerous.
If the manager or property owner continues to ignore your requests to address the issues, and someone is hurt during a hurricane because of it, you may be entitled to compensation. Talking to a lawyer is the best way to learn if you have a case.
Living in Florida means hurricanes are inevitable. The attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo are ready to help if you or a loved one suffer from a personal injury in the event of such a disaster.