Can I Get Compensated if Injured at a Family Member's House?

Compensation for accidents in Indiana

This is a delicate question. Most of us spend the majority of our lives in three places – work, home, and school. But a close fourth place would likely go to our families’ homes. Many people spend a considerable amount of time each week at a family member’s home or with a close friend. Whether it’s barbecuing at a brother’s house, watching the big game with a cousin, or just grabbing a weekend lunch at your parents’ house, people spend a lot of time with family. But like any place, injuries can happen. So, what happens when someone gets hurt at their brother’s house or at their parents’ house? You can’t sue your family, right?

At Truitt Law Offices, we are keenly aware of the sensitivity involved when someone is injured at their family’s home. On one hand, injuries can be expensive and cause many problems for the victim, like lost income from work, high-priced medical bills, or lifelong disabilities. If there is a source of money that can make these things easier to live with, then it only makes sense to make use of those options to protect yourself. But what about your family? Here’s what everyone in Indiana needs to understand about getting paid after an injury at a family member’s house.

What Is a Premises Liability Claim?

If you are visiting with family, the law in Indiana will likely regard you as a licensee. This just means that your family members are considered legally responsible for making you aware of any hidden dangers. If you go to your brother’s house and fall in a large hole in the yard that was concealed in some way and he never mentioned it, then the law would normally hold him liable. Therefore, you would technically have a valid claim to bring against your brother for injuries. But does this mean you should?

How to File a Claim

First, remember that a homeowner’s insurance policy is the likely source of compensation – not your brother. As long as your family member is carrying sufficient insurance on their policy, you can file an insurance claim, negotiate the potential value of the injuries, and receive compensation. Now, it is true that the insurance company will have a right to decide whether to pay or not. If they do, great. If not, however, you may be in the tough position of needing to initiate a lawsuit against a loved one. This may make people uncomfortable, but it really shouldn’t. A friendly suit is often filed, which simply preserves the claim, forcing the insurance company to follow through on its contractual obligations to pay.

How to Find a Lawyer Who Understands

Some lawyers talk a big game about being aggressive or hard-working. While this is important for sure, so is compassion and understanding. As a family-owned law firm, Truitt Law Offices gets it. We have the collective wisdom needed to help our clients make difficult situations much more straightforward. Give us a call today to schedule a free initial consultation, and get real answers today.

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About the Author

As an attorney who has practiced law in Northeast Indiana for nearly four decades, Richard Truitt has seen many changes in the way personal injury and wrongful death cases are handled. However, at least one aspect of his work has remained the same. “You always have to listen to your clients, and you have…