Prosecuting an Injury Claim Against a Friend or Family Member
November 22, 2017
Victims of injuries that occur in the homes of friends or family members can file injury claims and seek compensation for damages under the homeowner’s insurance policy.
In the U.S., over 10 million people end up in hospital emergency rooms due to household injuries every year. Injuries that occur in the home account for more than $6 million in annual insurance claims filed by injury victims who are seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other types of damages and losses. The most common types of household injuries include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Electrical and Chemical Burns
- Dog Attacks
- Backyard Pool Drownings
- Drug Overdoses
Homeowners are expected to exercise a duty of care to guests, which means protecting them from potential dangers and injuries on the property. A breach of this duty subjects the homeowner to liability for injuries that occur on the property. When injuries occur, victims have a legal right to file an injury claim under the homeowner’s insurance, as long as they are a licensee or invitee. A licensee includes family members, friends, and social visitors that have a legal right to be in the home. An invitee includes any person who is on the property to conduct business, such as a landscaper, pool cleaner, house painter, repair technician, or mailman.
Someone who is trespassing has no legal right to file an injury claim under the homeowner’s insurance policy if he or she suffers injuries or death on the property. However, this limitation for trespassers does not extend to young children who enter the yard uninvited and suffer backyard injuries or fatalities.
Filing an Injury Claim
Premises liability claims filed with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer must be properly supported with documentation, so an injury victim must inform the homeowner of injuries right away. The injury victim should ask the homeowner for insurance information, document how the injury occurred, and take photos of the injury to substantiate the claim. The injury victim should also seek immediate medical attention since medical records will be required to show proof of injury in a claim. While a claim adjuster wants to hear the victim’s side of the story, it’s important to note that he/she works for the insurance company and has the insurer’s best interest in mind.