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Ankin Law In The News

Injured as a Guest

March 11, 2012

It happens! You’re visiting a friend or a relative and you take a nasty fall and hurt yourself. This is when the question of liability arises and you, as the injured party, wonder if you can recover the costs associated with your injuries from the homeowner or renter. Although you may be hesitant to pursue a claim against a homeowner or renter, especially if that person is a friend or family member, it is important to know that the majority of the time their insurance company is responsible for handling and paying out the claim. Below are the general questions that I get when someone injures themselves as a guest at somebody’s home.

Q: I fell inside of a house where I was a guest and broke my leg. Can I recover the costs associated with the injuries including time off of work?
A:The recover depends upon who is negligent for the cause injury. What caused your fall? Was it the result of the homeowner’s negligence ( a wet floor, broken steps, no banister on the stairs, unlit stairway, ice on the porch or walk way) or were you doing something inappropriate and potentially harmful to yourself?

Q: How do I know if the owner of the property was negligent?
A: There are a number of factors which dictate whether a homeowner was negligent or not. Here is the basic explanation of who is negligent or not: a property owner has a duty to maintain his/her property in a reasonably safe condition to ensure others are protected from dangers or defects that could cause injury. If a homeowner fails to do something like repair a broken step in a staircase and someone falls through the step, they may be liable for that person’s injury. Another good indicator that the owner was negligent would be a code violation on the premise which could be as simple as a missing staircase banister or unlit entry way.

Q: If I am visiting someone who is a renter, and am hurt, can I recover the costs associated with the injuries including time off of work?
A: It depends who on is responsible for maintaining the premises, If the owner of the property is responsible for maintaining the premises then chances are they have the insurance associated with someone becoming injured on their property. Potentially both the renter and the landlord could be responsible.

Disclaimer: The content contained in this column is for informational use only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should not rely upon the information discussed in this column for an analysis of your legal issue.

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