+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28
  1. #1
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17

    car got flooded in assigned parking lot in apartment complex. cant afford a lawyer

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    Hello. I am a struggling grad student living in south Florida and my dad took out a loan to buy a $3000 car for me (2002 pontiac). I had to for 3 months and when the town I live in got hit by heavy rains, i got flooded. It was parked in my assigned parking spot and nobody warned me that it tends to get flooded. After it happened, instead of helping me tow it out of the water, the janitor just said 'that drain has been blocked for 40 years'. Most people knew and had moved their cars but I only just moved here from Europe and had no idea. I could only afford state miminum insurance (Geico) and they're not covering any of it but took a note of it and I am sure they either wont insure me anymore or the rate will go up next time I have to renew my insurance. I have no money, not even enough to fix the car and it is totaled from the dirty water that came up the drain, and the housing association of the compex say its not their problem as there is a sign saying 'this area is prone to flooding during heavy rains'. Can anybody tell me if I can get help with this? The engine is ruined and the car is full of mold. This is such a nightmare and I cant live here without a car so I'll probably have to move back to Europe and lose all the money I put into grad school so far and obviously for the car. Even if I could afford to get the engine fixed, the mold would be a health hazard so I probably couldnt use the car anymore. Please help me!!! Thanks...
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    35,506
    The apartment complex is not responsible for the weather.

    Your insurance rate will not be affected because of water damage that they are not even paying for. Even if they WERE paying, it wouldn't affect your rates since it was not an accident and not your fault.

    However, if you have a loan on a car, you are required to carry full coverage. Expect the lender to be unhappy - they will probably demand immediate repayment since their collateral is now worthless.
  3. #3
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,962
    Can you reconcile these two statements please:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ange85 View Post
    ...and nobody warned me that it tends to get flooded
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by Ange85 View Post
    as there is a sign saying 'this area is prone to flooding during heavy rains'.
    Which is it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  4. #4
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17
    there is a sign stating that the area tends to get flooded. I didnt notice the sign.

    I meant nobody warned me as in nobody gave me a call or a note through the door or such saying that the area might get flooded that night due to heavy rain. i did not know the drain was blocked. if cars are parked in someone elses spot they get towed right away but security drives around all night but if they see cars getting flooded they do nothing about it. they know which spot belongs to which apartment and could have given me a call or knocked on my door.
  5. #5
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17
    I got this reply from a lawyer:

    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.
  6. #6
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Ange85 View Post
    there is a sign stating that the area tends to get flooded. I didnt notice the sign.

    I meant nobody warned me as in nobody gave me a call or a note through the door or such saying that the area might get flooded that night due to heavy rain. i did not know the drain was blocked. if cars are parked in someone elses spot they get towed right away but security drives around all night but if they see cars getting flooded they do nothing about it. they know which spot belongs to which apartment and could have given me a call or knocked on my door.
    They put up a sign warning you it was subject to flooding. You really expected personal service? Like somebody to wait around the parking lots for days telling everybody to move their cars? Why do you think they put up a sign?

    And do you really need a car? There is no public transportation where you live?
  7. #7
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17
    No the city I live in has a very bad public transportation system, I tried that when I moved here but it wasnt possible so thats why I got the car. I'll have to move then...its very sad. The sign is small and easy to miss, I only saw it after someone pointed it out.
  8. #8
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Ange85 View Post
    there is a sign stating that the area tends to get flooded. I didnt notice the sign.

    I meant nobody warned me as in nobody gave me a call or a note through the door or such saying that the area might get flooded that night due to heavy rain. i did not know the drain was blocked. if cars are parked in someone elses spot they get towed right away but security drives around all night but if they see cars getting flooded they do nothing about it. they know which spot belongs to which apartment and could have given me a call or knocked on my door.
    Yes, they DID warn you. You just didn't notice the warning.
  9. #9
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18,763
    I think people are putting out a few legal theories here without thinking.

    First, is the general idea that acts of God are not actionable. Second, is that a sign removes liability.

    As to the first, it can certainly be argued it was not the rain which caused the damage, but the lack of drainage. Especially if there is a known and repeated risk from the rain, basic negligence and/or landowner theory would require a duty to fix or make safe the latent problem.

    Since the problem was clearly not fixed, the landlord chose the make safe option by warning. (Ignore assumption of the risk because of the sign for many reasons.) Since a latent danger cannot be made safe through warning if the warning is not known, we must make the warning one where a reasonable person would understand the nature and quality of the danger.

    "this area is prone to flooding during heavy rains" seems pretty good on the message and what a person needs to do to be safe. Would a reasonable person have seen it?

    That is the real legal question here. Was the warning sufficient? The burden of proof will be on the landlord once the OP says *he* didn't see it. (In that the plaintiff will allege the duty of the landlord and that it was breached. Once the prima facie case is made, the landlord will have to prove a reasonable person would be aware of the danger.) Where the sign was on the property, how high it was posted, the size of the lettering and the lighting and cleanliness of the sign are all factors.

    This is where the issue lies. Tell us of this sign.
  10. #10
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17
    Thank you for taking the time to write that. As I said I just moved to Florida and didnt know about the weather here or a about the bad drainage system in the city. I was now told that many streets in this neighbourhood flood all the time and many cars were damaged that night.
    the sign is very old and rusty but once I noticed it I could clearly read the statement. Many people in my neighbourhood dont speak english though and I wish they would have explained it to me verbally when moved in, just mentioned it. I dont think theres much point in taking any legal actions. When moved in I had to sign a whole stack of paper and I am sure they protected themselves from any liability esp knowing Florida weather and that the drains are blocked....
  11. #11
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,965
    You know...there's a funny thing about signs. No matter how obvious, many people don't notice what they say.

    For example, just last night I was given direction to exit at a certain place. I have driven past this exit many many times, but couldn't recall ever seeing that place named on the sign and, other than last night, I STILL don't recall ever seeing it. Well, imagine my embarrassment when I got to the place and saw that the sign was there, clear as day and HUGE. It's always been there...I just never bothered reading the second line!
  12. #12
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17
    I should probably also mention that the apartment is not owned by the complex. my landlady bought the apartment, rents it out to me and when I first moved in I had to pay $100 to become a member of the association who assigned me the parking spot.
  13. #13
    Ange85 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17
    yeah well I didnt notice the sign and paid a very high price for it....
  14. #14
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    I dunno. What time is it?
    Posts
    6,260
    You seem to be claiming the association was negligent. Negligence is defined as the breach of a duty owed that causes damages. The general rule of negligence is that there is no duty owed to a stranger, and there is almost never a duty to act. The most common duty to act is caused by a contractual obligation. A lifeguard has a duty to act to try to save you from drowning. A nursing home has a duty to act to keep you from starving. If the condo association had a duty to act, you would find evidence of that duty in a contract somewhere.

    The other failing is the cause of the damage to your vehicle. The most you can claim is that if the condo association acted, then you may have prevented the damage to your vehicle. You cannot prove with certainty that their action would have prevented the damage to your vehicle. Since you were probably sitting in your living room, and could have answered the phone it it rang, it's possible, even likely, that if they took action, the damage could have been prevented. But that's still not certain.
  15. #15
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,987
    Quote Originally Posted by Ange85 View Post
    As I said I just moved to Florida and didnt know about the weather here
    And I've never even visited Florida and know all about it. I mean, seriously, how could you have NOT known about even the destructive hurricanes that hit Florida on a seemingly annual basis?

    More importantly, as another pointed out, why did you not have full coverage on your auto insurance? I can't think of an instance where a lender would NOT require it, so presumably you can expect a demand for immediate repayment of your loan.

Similar Threads

  1. No Handicapped Sign for this parking space in Apartment Complex HELP
    By MaureenKelly in forum Parking Tickets and Non-Moving Violations
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-01-2010, 01:49 AM
  2. Can I get out of a Handicap Parking ticket in an Apartment Complex?
    By sonniesonnier in forum Parking Tickets and Non-Moving Violations
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 08-17-2010, 09:12 PM
  3. We live in apartment complex and my finace just got a parking ticket
    By stanv in forum Parking Tickets and Non-Moving Violations
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-22-2009, 09:58 AM
  4. Car flooded in apartment complex
    By txmustangamber in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-26-2004, 06:56 AM
  5. assigned covered parking in complex
    By BluuSkie in forum Other Real Estate Law Questions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-22-2000, 07:28 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.