I live in Colorado, in January or parking lot was covered in thick ice. Three owners emailed management co. regarding conditions of parking lot. One owner fell and shattered her knee cap. After all this, no attempts where made to remove ice.
the lady who is injured asked our management company for the insurance information to file a claim. Shanna (who is sole operated of our management co) stated she was the contact. the injured party was asked to submit unpaid bills to board members for review. Three months later when she collected bills and submitted them to mngmnt. Company she was told to write a letter to board asking reimbursement of her portion of her medical bills. Keep in mind no claim has been file and she was still denied ins contact. At this time the board sent a vote out weither or not to submit her bills(file a claim) to ins. Company (vote had to be unanimous)
my question is, does the board and management company have a right to do this? Can they deny an injured party from filling a claim? Do they even have a right to interfere at all?
Because of the situation I have volunteered to take a seat on the board. many owners feel the management company tried to sweep the situation under the carpet and hope it went away. which could have left us wide open for huge liability.
However I know that's expensive so there might be a way to get someone else to pick up the legal tab. Does the injured lady have medical insurance? Are they paying any portion of the bill? If they are they will be very intersted in this.
I broke my arm snowboarding and it was sort of expensive. My medical insurance company wanted to know exactly how and why I broke my arm. And if anyone could be held liable other then myself.
They made me fill out a waiver that said if I lied and I was in a car accident or slip and fall etc and someone else COULD have paid the bill, they would come after me. Sadly I had to tell them "no, I am a moron" so they paid.
So perhaps you can get them to lawyer up for you.
she does have insurance and they have covered most of the cost. She is only asking reimbursement of her portion of the unpaid bills. We are a small community and she has been pressured to drop the issue by the management company and board.
I feel the way our management company has handled this situation could have left us open for a huge lawsuit. I feel she tried to sweep it under the carpet to protect her negligence of the parking lot care.
She first should have filed a claim with her health insurance company. They then would have tried to subrogate the master insurance policy to pay for damages, or the board could have intervened and paid for the bills out of pocket. Sounds like she has/had a solid case on her hands so if they got away with paying only medical bills, they probably would have come out ahead. It is definitely negligence if they can't prove that they did everything reasonable to try and get the lot treated.
FYI, I don't know the laws in CO but in my area, most governing docs and state condominium law state that owners have a right to inspect all association records, which include the insurance policies and certificate of insurance. That will tell her who the insurance company is and once she has that info, she can put them on notice, which will likely move this right along.
I was an HOA president once. No legal advice, but I have denied to file claims on behalf of homeowners for acts they claimed were the fault of the HOA (nothing as serious as personal injury - all involved contact between the front gate and personal vehicles). I viewed HOA insurance as something to protect the Association, not necessarily to reimburse homeowners for loss. I would expect the Association to wait for a judgment to be issued against them prior to paying. If not, you'll have other members looking for a payout on every "loss", for they'll sue the Association for mismanagement.
I feel for the injured homeowner, but I don't think it's unreasonable for the Association to wait for legal action by the member before they get their insurance involved.
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