Posted on: 22 August 2016Share
Visiting a friend or relative's house can be fun, but sometimes personal injury accidents happen while you're there. Just like owners of a public place, owners and renters of private residences can be liable for personal injuries under certain circumstances. However, just because you are injured, it doesn't mean that your friend or relative will be liable for all your bills. If you've been injured at someone's home, here are a few things you should know about.
Homeowner or renter liability:
Homeowners can be liable for any type of injury that happens through their actions or inaction. For example, if they do something physically to cause you to be injured, such as pushing you or spilling something on you, then they may be liable even if it was unintentional. Another example is if they knew of a hazard, such as a garden hose sitting out or an unsecured rug, then they may also be liable if you trip on these things and fall.
Homeowners or renters may not be liable for these things:
Homeowners aren't liable for any type of injury that you cause to yourself even if you're on their property. For example, if you decide to enter a fenced yard with a snarling dog, then the homeowner wouldn't be liable if you get bitten. If you're trespassing and trip over something, then the homeowner would not be liable for your injuries unless he or she specifically knew that you usually pass that way and hasn't tried to stop you.
What you should do after you're injured:
Your first responsibility is to have a doctor check you out and get your injuries documented. You should also write down everything you remember while they're still fresh. See if you can get a witness statement if possible. If you can, try taking pictures of where the accident happened. However, it may be difficult to just whip out a camera in front of your friend or relative and start shooting without escalating any negative emotions which may be present. Don't bring up payment or lawsuits until you know how much the damages are.
How to get compensated:
Hopefully, your friend or relative would do the right thing and settle with you without involving the courts. Unfortunately, sometimes even your best buddy or closest sibling may balk at your bill if they feel suspicious or don't feel responsible. That's when you need to talk to a lawyer to get the ball rolling on your case. They will let you know what the law says about who is responsible for your injuries and work out a way for you to be compensated.