Florida Court Holds HOA not Liable for Car Crash Caused by Dangerous Parking Policy

Depending on the severity, car crashes can be devastating. If you have been injured in a car wreck, you could potentially recover a variety of damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage and more. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our highly skilled Miami car accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of South Florida clients. When you hire us, you can rest assured that we will handle the legal details so you can focus on healing.

The Case

In Seminole Lakes Homeowner’s Association (HOA) v. Esnard, the court held that a HOA that creates conditions that lead to an accident does not necessarily mean the HOA will be liable for the accident when the condition created by the HOA did not directly lead to the accident.

In the case at hand, when facing a serious parking problem, the HOA allowed on-street parking, even though restrictive covenants required otherwise. The municipal code prohibited on-street parking that could interfere with the flow of traffic. Permitting on-street parking prevented two cars from traveling between vehicles parked on either side of the street.

The plaintiff’s car had stopped to allow an oncoming truck to pass through a narrow area of the street at a time when cars were parked on both sides. While the plaintiff’s waited to pass, they were rear-ended, totaling the car and causing serious injuries. The plaintiff sued the driver who hit them, as well as the HOA.

The jury determined that the HOA was 30 percent accountable for the wreck for having created the bottleneck hazard. The driver who struck the plaintiff was found to be 70 percent at-fault for the accident. The HOA appealed.

The appellate court stated that proximate causation is usually an issue for the judge or jury to determine. According to the court, while the HOA’s decision to allow parking on both sides was a cause-in-fact of the accident, the plaintiff was also required to establish that the HOA’s decision was a proximate cause of the collision. Here, the court determined that was not the case. Relying on the “common experience” of drivers, the court explained that drivers often run into situations that require them to slow down or stop their vehicle. As such, the negligent act of the driver who rear-ended the plaintiff was not a “foreseeable consequence” of the HOA’s decision in allowing parking on both sides of the street.

Seasoned Miami Car Accident Attorneys

Sadly, car accidents are an everyday occurrence in Florida and across the country. If you have been injured in a car accident and wish to learn more about your options, you need to contact a seasoned Miami car accident attorney who can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are devoted to supporting our clients in every way possible throughout the legal process. We are here to answer your questions every step of the way. For a free consultation regarding your case, call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Supreme Court Clarifies Causation in Medical Malpractice Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, February  14, 2019

Florida Court Applies Open and Obvious Doctrine in Florida Premises Liability Case, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, February 14, 2019

Semi Truck Sideswipes Parked Florida Police Cars, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, February 14, 2019

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