Almost any Atlanta personal injury lawyer knows that people who suffer a slip and fall tend to do it in familiar places. This is because most of us repeatedly visit the same places over and over again. You may fall in the grocery store because the floor is wet. You could trip over a rug in your local pizza joint. Or, if you’re like thousands of other people, you fall and get hurt while at a friend or family member’s home.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that most property owners have insurance to cover these sorts of things. For residential properties, you would have to file a claim with your friend’s homeowner’s policy. If it’s a commercial property, such as a movie theater, you would have to file your claim against their general liability policy. If your claim is denied by either of these entities, you need to reach out to an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
You May Have Suffered a Slip and Fall at a Friend or Neighbor’s House
Now that summer is here, you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Especially after the last year and a half, people are excited to get out to celebrate time with friends they haven’t seen since the pandemic struck. If you attend a bunch of summer barbecues and parties, you may suffer a slip and fall.
This could happen in your friend’s home, in their yard, or even in their pool. If this is the case, their homeowner’s policy should cover your injuries.
The same is true if you go to a family reunion in the local park. If there is an unsafe condition in the park, the city should have insurance to cover your injuries. What you need to do is talk to an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer early on so they can make sure your claim is handled properly.
Their Homeowner’s Policy Should Cover Any Damages
If you fall at someone else’s house, their homeowner’s policy should cover your injuries. Most people don’t experience any issues when it comes to getting their claims paid. However, you may not be so lucky. If your claim is large, the company may deny payment. They’d rather take their chances in court. The same is true if they think you caused your fall.
For example, if you attend a pool party wearing stiletto heels, or are drunk near the pool, you could’ve been asking for trouble. In cases like this, you’ll likely be found partially at fault. If this is the case, then you’ll find your damages reduced by your proportion of fault. This is because Georgia follows the contributory negligence rule.
You May Have to Sue Them Personally
If you find out that the defendant didn’t have insurance, then you won’t have much choice but to file suit. If the property owner is your friend or family, you may not want to do this. If that’s the case, your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will have to honor your wishes.
However, you need to remember that, even though you’re suing your friend, it’s their insurance company who will have to deal with the lawsuit. If they have no insurance, then your friend or neighbor could be held personally liable for your damages. It really comes down to what you want to do.
Learn Your Options by Talking to an Experienced Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
Being in a situation where you may have to sue a friend can be very uncomfortable. The last thing you want to do is lose a friend or family member over a legal matter. If their homeowner’s insurance refuses to pay your claim, you have very few options. Of course, your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will try to get your claim paid. They’ll try to negotiate payment of your claim. If this isn’t possible, then they’re going to recommend that you file suit. This is the moment you were trying to avoid.
If you aren’t sure what to do, you should call and talk to an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. They’ll let you know how likely it is that you’ll need to file a lawsuit against your friend. When the time comes, you can take a few days to really think about what you did.
Just keep in mind – just because you file suit doesn’t mean your case won’t settle. Your attorney is going to continue to push for a settlement up until the day of trial. There’s no guarantee that you’ll need to go to court and speak out against your friend or neighbor.