Injured at a Friends House in Las Vegas? Can You File Claim on Their Homeowner Liability Insurance?
The initial purpose of homeowner’s insurance for any house in Las Vegas is to protect the home from damage. Over time, however, homeowner’s insurance has expanded to cover everything a homeowner might need in one tidy package related to home ownership, including personal injury liability.
Nearly every homeowner in Las Vegas has at least a small personal insurance policy meant to cover liability expenses should a guest become injured on the property. If you have been injured in the home of another, then you may have a right to make a claim against their homeowner’s liability coverage.
Injured at a Friend’s House
This article is for anyone who has been injured at the home of a friend or family member, someone you know and may have a strong personal connection with. After the injury, you may be wondering whether it is right to make a claim on their insurance or if the claim would cause more harm to the relationship than the money is worth.
Each homeowner carries personal liability coverage so that if their dog bites a neighbor or a cracked front step trips a relative, that there will be something to help with the medical costs. So you may not have to approach the issue as an adversary. With help from a personal injury lawyer and cooperation from your friend the homeowner, you may be able to access the insurance funds that are in place for exactly this reason.
Is Your Friend Liable for the Injury?
The first question is whether your injuries are such that the homeowner can be held liable. Slip-and-fall injuries may be judged that the homeowner should have kept their sidewalk, patio, or floor less slippery.
Dog bites also fall under homeowner liability injuries as the dog is part of the homeowner’s residential property. If you are bitten or otherwise injured by the homeowner’s dog, then the owner is liable.
Your friend-homeowner is not liable, however, if they cannot be found to have made a mistake or been negligent in their property maintenance. If, for example, you are rough-housing with a friend, then trip on a reasonably placed table and crack your knee, that is not generally considered a liable injury. In these instances, the injured party was not using the environment in a reasonable and safe way.
Are You Fighting Against or Working With the Friend/Homeowner?
The next question is whether your friend is working with you to make the claim or you are working against them. This can go either way, and your relationship with the homeowner will become a factor. If you are working together, making the claim will be much easier, as will proving liability and countering any denial-tactics the insurance company may try.
But if you intend to make the claim against the wishes of the homeowner, know this will likely impact your relationship. If the injury is serious and you need the money to pay for costs, then do what you must. But it’s better to have the cooperation of a friend homeowner whose policy you are claiming on.
What Impact Will a Claim Have on the Homeowner?
It is also important to understand that a homeowner liability claim is not completely cost-free for your friend. Even if they are cooperative, there will be some impact on them even though the insurance is covering your costs. Mainly, their insurance premiums will go up for a few years.
Making a Claim on Homeowner Insurance
Once you’ve resolved to make a claim against your friend homeowner’s liability insurance, you’ll need to gather proof for the report. Insurance companies are loath to grant claims as it loses them money, so they often fight a claim tooth and nail. They will demand proof of injury, proof of negligence liability, and may try to get you to see one of their payroll doctors.
Get your own third-party medical examination, take pictures of everything immediately, and try to work with the cooperation of your friend. If you are working against the homeowner, your case must be even more rock-solid to deal with the denial of negligence or claims that you were acting recklessly which can undercut your liability claim.
How Much Should You Expect on a Homeowner Liability Claim?
Personal liability coverage in homeowner insurance varies wildly. Some small insurance firms only offer up to $5,000 which may still make the financial difference you need to pay for medical bills. Larger providers may go up to $100,000 or more.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer to Work Out a Plan
Not sure what to do next? That’s not unusual in personal injury cases where the claimant is also wrapped up in recovering from their injuries. The best way to get a good result and even to help your homeowner friend in the process is to work with one of our dedicated personal injury lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates. Give us a call today at (702) 680-1111.