Suing Your HOA for Premises Liability
HOA stands for homeowners association. Many Americans live in communities that are governed by homeowners associations. Most HOAs have rules or guidelines that all residents of the community must abide by. These could include gardening, property maintenance, house paint colors, and more.
HOAs also have duties regarding HOA property. Although individual property owners in the community have individual obligations regarding the care and maintenance of their properties, many communities have common areas and community centers that are operated and maintained by the HOA.
HOAs have a duty to ensure that these common areas are safe and free of any hidden dangers. If someone is injured on property that is owned or maintained by an HOA, then they may have a right to be compensated for their injuries.
HOA contracts can be extremely complicated and can cause ambiguity between which areas are considered private property, and which areas are considered commercial. Generally, these contracts state that you are responsible for everything inside your property, while the HOAs are responsible for the maintenance and appearance of common areas outside of your property.
This can complicate the process of bringing a claim for premise liability because where the injury occurred is crucial to whether or not the injured party will be able to bring a successful claim for compensation. However, from these types of contracts, we can infer that HOAs have a duty to keep the walkways and common areas safe for residents and visitors to the development.
Liability laws in Texas
The general rule in Texas is that HOAs can be liable for injuries that occur on HOA property if the association either knows or should know that the danger exists, and does not remove the danger or issue proper warnings of the danger in advance. This also includes constructive knowledge, where even if the HOA might not actually know of the danger on their property, they can still be held to have constructive knowledge of the danger if they should have known about it but failed to do so through their own negligence or lack of care.
Furthermore, it must be clear that the accident wasn’t the fault of the victim’s carelessness. The injured person must prove that their injury was directly caused by the HOA’s negligence.
There are a number of accidents where the HOA may be liable. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type that can lead to HOA liability. This could occur in a number of circumstances.
For example, if an HOA employee negligently left equipment or tools in a walking path causing someone to trip over, or if HOA knows that an area of sidewalk on HOA property is slippery and that people have previously slipped over in that area, but they do nothing about the problem.
Contact the premises liability lawyers at The Lenahan Law Firm for help
Premise liability cases can be tricky at the best of times, so you need an experienced lawyer on your side. If you or a loved one has recently suffered any type of slip and fall injury in an area governed by an HOA, it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer so they can assess your possible legal options. One of our talented lawyers can look over your HOA contract to determine the HOA’s level of liability and any other factors that may come into play with your claim.
For more information, contact The Lenahan Law Firm at (214) 295-1008 for a free consultation.