What Do I Do If I Am Injured at a Friend’s House?

Your neighbor is hosting friends from the neighborhood at her house for a girls’ evening with wine, when something unexpected happens. You get up from her couch, step on a toy one of her children left out, that she forgot to clean up before she put the kids to bed, and trip and fall over the toy, which was partially hidden underneath the couch right where you were sitting. You feel something in your ankle twist and snap and experience immediate, excruciating pain. Your neighbor, to her credit, calls an ambulance and you are taken out on a stretcher after the EMTs have to help you off the floor because you cannot walk. It takes months on crutches and surgery on your ankle along with physical therapy until you are finally able to walk again without crutches. In the meantime, you cannot work and incur thousands in medical bills.

You obviously do not want to sue your friend, but the incident occurred at her house, it was not your fault, and you don’t want to be left with all the bills from the medical treatment you received from your injuries as a result of the incident. Thankfully, your friend’s homeowner’s insurance likely provides coverage for incidents like this that occur in her house. Therefore, you can file a claim with that insurer for the injuries you suffered and other damages you sustained because of this incident. The insurer may push back and claim the incident was your fault because you should have seen the toy that you tripped over, but an experienced personal injury attorney like the experienced Florida attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley will be able to assist you in obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries even if the insurer takes this position.

Who Is Responsible if You Are Injured in Someone Else’s House?

If someone is injured in your home, your homeowner’s insurance typically covers that. What many people do not realize is that along with the coverage it provides against losses to the actual property itself like a burst pipe or a tree limb that falls on your roof, homeowners insurance also provides liability insurance coverage to the homeowner in the event something happens in your home. Thus, your friend’s homeowners insurance should cover an incident like the trip and fall that you suffered, similarly to how your own insurance typically would cover an injury sustained by someone in your home. 

You may feel bad pursuing an insurance claim with your friend’s insurer or even having to sue your friend, but the alternative may be having to pay out of pocket for your injuries. Given the severity of your injuries, this is asking a lot, particularly if your friend has insurance for this exact purpose.

Is My Friend or Her Insurer Going to Argue I Was Responsible?

You can be sure that your friend’s insurer will argue that the toy that caused you to trip and fall was “open and obvious.” This is a fancy way of saying that the toy was something that you should have noticed before you tripped and fell on it. However, even if your friend’s insurer or her attorney argues this, that does not eliminate the fact that this incident happened in your friend’s home and would likely be covered by her insurance. A jury is also the one that makes the determination of whether a particular hazard like this toy was open and obvious and, even if the jury determines that you were partially responsible for the incident (and thus your injuries) because you should have noticed the toy (or even because you had some wine), the jury will still assess the fault of all the parties involved in this incident. Therefore, even if does apportion some fault to you in connection with the occurrence of this incident, you can still recover from your friend’s insurer if the jury determines that your friend could have been more careful or should have picked up the toy and was thus all or partially responsible for the incident. You would only the percentage of your damages from your friend/her insurer.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of combined legal practice representing victims of motor vehicle or pedestrian accidents, slip and fall incidents and other personal injury scenarios in Florida. We have represented those who were injured in someone else’s home and we know how to navigate the often complicated personal dynamics that come with having to file a personal injury claim with a friend’s insurer against a friend. If you, a family member, or a loved one have been injured in any situation caused by someone else’s negligence in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.