What happens if you’re injured at someone’s home?

Getting injured at the home of a friend or a relative during a summer barbecue or a backyard family reunion is the definition of a nightmare for a lot of people — especially if the injury is severe.

Unfortunately, even good friends and relatives can make foolish mistakes. For example, your buddy may have been excited to show off the stone fire pit he built — but if he didn’t clean up the leftover stone and tools laying around in the nearby grass, that’s an accident waiting to happen in the dim light of early evening. Similarly, if your cousin is hosting the family reunion and forgets to warn people that his porch rail is broken, you and several other people could end up taking a tumble off the porch just by leaning up against the wrong spot.

A simple act of carelessness and negligence can sometimes end up costing someone a lot in terms of medical bills, time off work, plus pain and suffering — but it also puts a lot of people into an emotional quandary because they don’t want to sue their friend or relative.

If this is your situation, it helps to understand a few important facts:

1. Unless your friend or relative has enough money on hand to pay for your medical bills and time off work, you aren’t doing anything unreasonable. He or she probably couldn’t afford the medical payments and missing income either.

2. You won’t be suing your friend or relative directly. That’s what his or her homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover. Most people have some form of liability coverage that protects them in case a legal guest on the property is somehow injured.

3. If your expenses are low, somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000, many policies will cover a claim and reimburse you for at least your medical costs without bothering to determine who is at fault for the injury.

If your injuries and losses exceed that amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit over the incident. While that may cause some tension, a reasonable friend or relative is likely to understand that you aren’t attacking him or her personally — you’re just asking the insurance company he or she pays to do what it is designed to do.

For more information about recovering for a personal injury, talk to an attorney today.

Source: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, “Who Is Covered Under Your Homeowner’s Policy?,” accessed June 02, 2017

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