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When Hurricanes And Personal Injury Meet

Hurricane Irma came and went, but Florida is still suffering from the lingering damage it left behind. Buildings fell, trees and branches went flying, basements flooded, and at least 82 Florida citizens died because of the storm. The initial cleanup and recovery took weeks, and it could take months or even years to completely recover from Irma, especially down in the Florida Keys.

For most Florida residents, most recovery and repair funds come from government aid and a combination of flood, homeowner’s, and renter’s insurance. However, not every personal injury or piece of property damage is Hurricane Irma’s fault. There’s a lot that people can’t control when it comes to hurricane-strength winds, but there are times before, during, and after a hurricane when human negligence can lead to a personal injury lawsuit.

Improper Preparations

When you buy something like hurricane shutters and pay a company to install them, you expect them to protect your home from damage. There are times when no protections can keep you safe from the power of hurricane winds, and so things like shutters come with disclaimers that warn you about what they can and can’t do. However, there are also times when these protections don’t live up to their own guarantees.

For instance, while a hurricane shutter can’t do much if a tree should happen to fall and destroy part of your house, it should at least be able to protect your windows against smaller debris, heavy rain, and hurricane-force winds. If these things manage to knock hurricane shutters off their hinges, it could be the result of improper construction or a bad installation. And if the fallen shutter results in a personal injury or property damage, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, installer, or both.

Property Negligence

Property owners and business operators of all types have a responsibility to keep their visitors as safe as possible and to warn them of potential dangers. When it comes to hurricanes, this responsibility means doing things to prepare for the storm like putting out open fires and closing gas lines. It also means you should clear your lawn of anything that could turn into damaging debris like fallen branches and patio furniture.

Another major point is to avoid claiming a building is a hurricane shelter when it’s not. Official hurricane shelters are usually community centers, churches, and schools that meet certain standards that let them keep people safe, but businesses and property owners can always tell people to seek shelter in their buildings. But if they do so and the building isn’t strong enough to protect the people inside, and if someone is hurt or dies because of the hurricane, the property owner may be liable for damages.

Cleanup Neglect

After a hurricane, property owners are responsible for cleaning up their property and getting rid of the debris. This may involve using government or insurance company resources, but ultimately it’s the owner’s responsibility.

Not cleaning up after a hurricane can lead to lawsuits in a few different ways. For one thing, fallen branches, broken walls, and other debris can pose a safety hazard for guests. If debris causes bodily harm, the property owner might be liable for damages. Decaying debris can also lead to infestations and spread diseases, and if they should affect the neighbors or tenants it can be a solid basis for a lawsuit.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area and you have good reason to think some of your Hurricane Irma woes have a very human cause, you should consult with the personal injury professionals at , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh. We have offices throughout southwest Florida, and our legal experts can help you understand whether your case has merit and what you can do to get the compensation you deserve.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

When Hurricanes And Personal Injury Meet

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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