I Was Injured at a Friend’s House. How Can I Receive Compensation for My Injuries?
Nothing ruins game night like an injury. If you are injured at a friend’s house, you may be able to receive compensation. A personal injury claim between friends can be uncomfortable, but the compensation is important to your recovery.
Here’s how to receive compensation for injuries sustained at a friend’s house.
Check If Your Friend Has Homeowner’s Insurance
If your friend owns their home and has a mortgage, they should carry homeowner’s insurance. Ask your friend if they carry it and get the name and address so that you can make a claim. The homeowner’s policy may pay for medical expenses and other losses connected with your injury.
If your friend rents their home or lives in an apartment building, it is important to determine the exact location of your fall. Often times, landlords and/or building owners are responsible for the common areas of a rented property. If you are injured in an area that the owner is responsible for, it is important that you notify them of the incident and determine if they have insurance that may cover the claim. If you fall inside the home, or in an area that is the responsibility of the tenant, then they might have renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance operates much like homeowner’s insurance and may pay out for injuries caused by your friend’s negligence. Ask your friend and get the contact information to make a claim if they do carry this insurance.
Collect Evidence of Your Losses
Before seeking compensation, fully document your injuries and the surrounding circumstances of the accident. For example, collect:
- The location of the incident
- Medical records that show the full extent of your injuries
- Medical bills and receipts that show how much medical care cost
- Proof of income, if you could not work because of your injuries
- Pictures of whatever caused your accident, such as a broken handrail, loose tiles, etc.
- Pictures of your injury
- Names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident
You cannot gather too much evidence! The more evidence you can collect up front, the better your chances of receiving compensation.
Speak with the Insurance Company
You need to make a claim with the appropriate insurance company. Call them as soon as possible and identify what happened. Don’t wait around for your friend or someone else to report the accident, since they might delay.
Before speaking with an insurance adjuster, you might want to hire a lawyer. Don’t be fooled. Insurance companies are a business and they want to make money, not pay out for your claim. Having an attorney handling your case will help protect your rights. Few insurance companies are anxious to pay out money to victims, and many will look for any reason to deny your claim. With a lawyer at your side, you can present your claim in a way that is compelling and increase your chances of receiving compensation.
The insurance agent will investigate the accident to determine what caused the injury and whether the policy covers your injury. They will negotiate with you and your lawyer for a settlement only AFTER they have determined liability.
Negotiate with Your Friend if they Don’t Have Insurance
If your friend has no insurance, you can ask them to pay for your medical bills and other expenses. If necessary, you can ask that they attend mediation to help you reach a resolution that works for both of you.
File a Lawsuit
If settlement negotiations fail, you might need to bring a lawsuit. In court, you will need to show that your friend’s negligence caused your injury. Typically, the insurer will hire a lawyer to defend your friend while you will have a lawyer representing your rights.
As you can see, filing a lawsuit often comes at the end of a long process. However, in some situations, your lawyer might advise you to file a lawsuit quickly to protect your rights. In Connecticut, injured victims usually only get two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit otherwise their case gets thrown out of court.
Speak to a West Hartford Premises Liability Lawyer
If you were injured in a slip and fall or other accident, you need a lawyer in your corner from the start. Victims who represent themselves run the risk of missing key deadlines or filing paperwork inaccurately. At Stanger Stanfield, we have successfully helped numerous injured victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.