When it comes to natural events, people can only do so much to protect themselves. As Hurricane Ian swept all over Florida, people are either finding themselves trapped in their homes, injured, or worse.
There’s no telling what could go wrong in a catastrophic event such as a hurricane. A car from miles away can fly right into you or your house. A telephone pole or a piece of someone else’s house might crash into your own home and injure you. The damages are so random, you might not even know where to look for compensation.
Property damage is likely expected during such an event, but what if you end up hurt in the process? Can you hold an individual or an organization responsible for what has happened to you?
That may depend on the situation at hand. Here are the liability cases that may appear in the aftermath of a hurricane.
The Cases of Liability
Sometimes, injuries resulting from a storm or a hurricane can be entirely avoided. Each homeowner should respect some legal requirements. Storms and hurricanes have been known to wreak damage all over the United States. As a result, people are expected to prepare by using sturdy beans, reinforced windows, and many more.
Some injuries during such a storm are entirely preventable. For example, if the homeowner provides the proper maintenance, there may be no fault in the incident. They did what they could, but the storm was stronger. On the other hand, if the property owner does not respect maintenance, they may be held responsible for another person’s injury.
Similarly, such an injury can occur on the road, either during or after the hurricane has passed. In this case, the storm itself may not always be at fault for the injury. Sometimes, the injured person may be the one held responsible. Other times, it may be a different party that could hold fault.
It is often recommended to hire a lawyer if you are injured after a storm. Depending on the evidence, the attorney may be able to determine whether the injury was caused by negligence or not.
If you are a tenant and not a property owner, then you may also have grounds for suing if you get injured on a property. Before offering a place for rent, the landlords are obligated to ensure the minimum structural integrity of the property.
If they are aware of the potential dangers but still fail to address them, it might set grounds for a lawsuit. This applies even more if the tenant continuously voices their concerns, only to be dismissed.
Meteorological events such as a hurricane can make any small structural flaw catastrophic. The strong winds and water levels, like those brought by Hurricane Ian, may lead to injury if the foundation is poor. Landlords can be held liable if this happens.
Negligence can take on many forms. A good example would be a damaged or dying tree on the property that the owner failed to take care of. There are many reasons for that: financial reasons, negligence, or apathy. If this happens, the owner of the property may be held responsible if the tree injures another person.
As the owner of the property, they are the only ones with the legal rights to take that tree down. They were most likely aware of the danger posed by the tree, but they did not bother to take care of it. The owner of the property should have realized that the tree would not hold because of its compromised strength.
Indeed, proof may be circumstantial. For example, a 17-year-old lost his life in Cass County, after a tree branch fell onto his car. With the wind going past 60mph, even stronger trees did not stand a chance. The tree in question was supposedly healthy, but could not hold the strength of the storm.
This is not the case if the tree has been dead for a while. If injury or death is caused by such a poorly attended tree, the affected people could hire personal injury lawyers in Indiana. They could sue individuals or even the local and state government, depending on whose property the tree sat on.
Sometimes, damage or injuries caused by a storm or a hurricane cannot be avoided. Strong winds can affect even the strongest trees and structures. That being said, if the damage could have been preventable, you may have the right to file a lawsuit for your injuries.