In addition to public spaces, you can sustain an injury on the property of a family member. According to the National Safety Council, 52.5 million medically consulted injuries occurred in homes and communities in 2021.
Some of the causes of injuries and deaths on private properties include drowning, falls, slips, choking, and electrical hazards. If you’ve sustained an injury in a family member’s home, you may wonder if it is possible to sue them.
The law allows you to sue a family member for personal injury; however, will your close ties with the relative let you do it?
If you’re dealing with the consequences of an injury or the death of a loved one, consult a trusted personal injury attorney about your legal options.
While you can sustain an injury on a relative’s property in several ways, only a few cases are admissible in court. For instance, if you fall and break your leg, you must prove that the family member could have prevented the injury with more care and attention.
You should also prove that the injury didn’t occur because of your carelessness or inattentiveness. It is also essential to demonstrate that you did not engage in an activity known as ‘inherently risky.’
Although homeowners may have little to no control over slip and fall accidents, they may still be held liable. Property owners owe a duty of care to guests, invitees, or any other person with express or implied permission to be on the premises.
The law also requires homeowners to keep their properties safe and free of hazards. However, just because you injured yourself in an unsafe environment doesn’t make your relative automatically liable.
The victim must demonstrate negligence for the property owner to be held liable.
Here’s how a victim can prove negligence:
As your family grows and gets together more often, the risk of injuries increases. Multiple renovations and accessories create numerous opportunities where a family member can sustain an injury.
That said, people opt to sue a family member to get compensation for lost income, hospital bills, and more.
Here are two critical considerations before suing a relative for personal injury:
It is also crucial for the family member to understand that the injury claim is nothing personal. It is also possible to discuss an out-of-court settlement with the family member that takes care of the medical bills and other damages sustained.
Suing a family member will create a rift in the relationship. As such, most people avoid suing family members unless a few circumstances exist, including:
In addition, most personal injuries inflict financial, physical, and psychological damages. Whether it is a broken bone, spinal cord injury, or facial injury, the harm impacts the victim’s life in several ways.
For instance, if an injury resulted in permanent disability, seeking compensation for future earning capacity, pain, and ongoing medical care makes sense.
Suing a family member should be a measure of last resort. Fortunately, there are other alternatives to get compensation without involving legal action.
Consider the following options:
One of the viable options is to file a claim using the homeowner’s insurance policy. If the injury occurred inside or around the homeowner’s compound, there’s a good chance that the homeowner’s policy will cover the damages.
Filing an insurance claim has advantages; for instance, the family member is not personally liable for the damages, but their insurers.
Below are some of the necessary steps when filing an insurance claim:
Answer the following questions to create compelling evidence for your case:
If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident. If you cannot take photos due to the close ties with the family member, a personal injury lawyer can conduct independent investigations.
If the police were involved, an attorney could request a report from the officer attached to the scene. The attorney may also retrieve the video evidence from the CCTV camera installed on the property.
The impact of the injuries on your life is an important consideration when filing an insurance claim.
If you’ve already seen a health provider, request a copy of medical records to provide evidence for the injuries.
The following also help in proving your injury:
Alternatively, an attorney may request a medical assessment, which will create a better understanding of the injury. An expert will assess the injuries in person by asking about the pain and the discomfort you’re experiencing.
An expert may also want to understand how the injury has impacted your daily activities or mental health.
After the attorney has gathered all the evidence about your injury, the next stage involves working out a deserved compensation.
The settlement amount takes into consideration the following:
After working out the total damages, the attorney will negotiate the most suitable settlement with the insurance provider.
The consequences of a personal injury are dire, irrespective of the at-fault party. While a lawsuit may sever the family ties, you still need resources to cope with a life-changing injury. Fortunately, you can seek compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz is a team of experienced attorneys who have dealt with numerous cases, including injuries on family property.
Contact us online for a free case evaluation.
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