When it comes to the rare meteorological event of a hurricane, there is only so much a homeowner can do to prepare for every possible scenario. The ways in which individuals can suffer physical injuries or even death before, during, and after these storms are numerous.
Hurricane Florence killed 22 people across three Southeastern states in 2018, including North Carolina, and was the ninth most destructive storm in terms of property damage in U.S. history. Unfortunately, sometimes with property damage comes damage to the most valuable commodity on earth, human life.
It is difficult to predict how a vehicle or someone else’s property miles away could injure you in a tropical storm or hurricane. And, the forces generated by these storms and the unpredictability and randomness of the wind and flooding they generate can make it difficult to hold specific persons or entities accountable.
On the other hand, certain situations that lead to injuries from these storms are entirely preventable. Premises liability can come into play when someone does not take the time to fulfill their legal obligations, resulting in a property owner becoming responsible for someone else’s injuries. In other cases, the negligence may occur out on the road during or after a hurricane has swept through. Regardless of the situation, the hurricane, or “act of God,” is not always at fault when an injury occurs. Sometimes, a person or multiple persons are responsible.
Examples of negligence
One example of premises liability involving the negligence of a property owner is if a neighbor with a dying or damaged tree on his or her property falls and injures a person or damages a neighboring property. If the property owner – through apathy, negligence, or unwillingness to spend the money – failed to cut down or remove the dead tree adequately prior to the hurricane event, he or she may be held liable for any resulting injuries that occur.
The owner of the property and the dead tree should have been aware of its potential danger for some time, but refused to take care of the hazard. The property owner should have realized that a severe high wind event posed a dangerously increased risk for the collapse of the tree and its branches.
Rights of injured renters to sue
Property owners and landlords are legally obligated to ensure their properties possess a minimum amount of structural integrity and safety according to state law. If an owner ignores this responsibility in a building in which you rent your home, his or her neglect may lead to the injuries of one or more tenants due to structural failure during a hurricane. In this case, the owner may be held liable in a personal injury action.
If you have sustained injuries in a severe weather event such as a hurricane due to the fault of another party, our Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC are here to help. Our team can fight to help you secure the financial compensation you are owed for your injuries and losses. To set up a free initial consultation, call our law offices today at 704-377-7777 or use our contact form to leave us a message.