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Car parked in assigned parking spot got flooded. Housing association repsonsible?

Boca Raton, FL |

I am a 26 year old student who moved to Florida from Europe for grad school. I have no money and cannot legally work in this country. I have only lived here for 3 months. Last night, I parked my car in my assigned parking spot and when I saw it in the morning it was completely flooded. My insurance wont cover it as I could only afford state minimum insurance. I live in an apartment complex and the housing association helped me with nothing, just said I should have read the sign and that the drain in that parking garage has been blocked for years. There is no way I could have known that. The car is totaled and I cant afford a new one. Do I have a chance of sueing them over the damage? I was totally depending on that car and dont know if I can continue my studies here now.Thank you

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This will depend upon two things. First, your lease. I would expect that the landlord very carefully provided that damage from natural causes is not his responsibility. Further, states where floods are common - and I would expect Florida to be among them - sometimes provide statutory coverage for things like this. Often they, too, protect the landlord. Further, this is not the kind of case that free legal clinics seek to handle in view of high work load and short staffing. In sum, I suspect you will have a tough row to hoe here. Wish my outlook for you could be sunnier.

    Kind regards and good luck
    J

    All comments on this site are 'in the cloud' and do not form an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Just consider them ideas for discussion. J


  2. You should contact the legal clinic of one of the local law schools if you cannot afford an attorney. If the complex is run by a condo association you would need an attorney that specializes in condo law. I'm not sure what you mean by a "housing association" and assume you are in a condo. Condo associations are statutory in nature and that statute requires owners to have their own insurance to protect their property, even if it is a "common element" that the condo is liable for maintaining.

    This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.


  3. Short answer: Probably not.

    The sign that you referred to probably says that you park at your own risk of loss to your car or personal belongings, and this may be enough for them to avoid liability for the damage to your car.

    Floods are common in Florida, and you might have been covered for your loss if you carried comprehensive insurance for your car.

    I am an attorney who is only licensed in the State of Florida. My answer is general legal advice based upon what I perceive your question to be, and should not be relied upon because every person's facts and circumstances are unique, and because specific laws vary from state to state. To completely evaluate a legal issue requires reviewing and evaluating all relevant facts, applicable laws and other information. My answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, and offered for informational purposes only.