Very few people think twice about filing a personal injury lawsuit against another driver if their car was hit in an accident or suing a large box store if they were injured in a slip and fall accident. However, what do you do if you were injured in a friend’s house in Florida? Can you sue them because you were hurt? While the question might seem complicated, or tricky, the answer is “yes.” Our experienced Florida premises liability attorney discusses dealing with an injury in a friend’s home below.
What to Do if You Get Injured at a Friend’s House in Florida
if you were injured at a friend’s home, there are several steps to take to ensure your safety and legal security.
Seek Medical Attention
After any injury, you should seek medical attention. Clearly, the severity of the injury will determine the exact steps you should take. If you require immediate medical care, you should call 911 to request an ambulance or have someone drive you to an emergency room. Even if you believe your injury is minor, you should still see your doctor within 24 or 48 hours. Often, the full extent of an injury is not apparent, and any delay in receiving medical treatment could jeopardize a Florida personal injury lawsuit, according to our Fort Lauderdale injury attorney.
Talk with Your Friend Regarding Your Injury in Their Home
You need to protect yourself if you were injured, and you deserve to be compensated for any medical costs or economic losses you suffered. Talking with your friend might be difficult, but it is necessary. You should explain the effects of the injury and request the contact information for their homeowner’s insurance provider. You will need that information if your injury results in significant medical bills, co-pays, or deductibles.
Gather Evidence from Your Friend’s Home
Whether you file a claim against your friend’s insurance company or are required to file a personal injury lawsuit, you will have to prove how the injury occurred. One of the easiest things to do is to take photographs of the scene. If you tripped on a poorly carpeted staircase, be sure to take a picture of the defect that caused your accident.
Talk with other people who might have witnessed your accident and get their information. Eyewitness testimony could help establish you were not at fault, and that your friend should be held responsible for your injuries.
Hire a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
You should treat an injury that occurs at your friend’s house just like you would treat any slip and fall accident. Injuries often lead to more significant medical expenses and financial losses than you initially believed at the time of the accident. You need to protect yourself and your family. You might not be prepared for the co-pays, deductibles, and lost wages. Because you were injured on a friend’s property, it does not mean you should incur all the out of pocket medical costs.
Often, people who attempt to negotiate directly with the insurance company rarely receive the compensation they deserve. In fact, they might find themselves engaging in phone calls, emails, and letters until the statute of limitations has passed – prohibiting them from pursuing a claim in civil court. To avoid this situation, you should retain our Hollywood, FL premises liability attorney early in the process. Not only will we work directly with the insurance company, ensuring you don’t say or sign anything that could endanger your personal injury claim, but our Hollywood, FL personal injury lawyers will also begin preparing a lawsuit while the evidence is still available.
How Homeowner’s Insurance Covers Accidents in Premises Liability Lawsuits in Florida
People in Florida have homeowner’s insurance specifically for these types of situations. Most insurance policies provide payments for accidents where guests are injured. If you are injured at your friend’s house, you should not be responsible for the medical expenses you incur, especially if your injuries were caused by negligence.
if you file a personal injury lawsuit, it will be against your friend’s insurance provider. You will not be seeking compensation from your friend’s own funds. One of the reasons your friend is carrying homeowner’s insurance is to protect anyone who is hurt on their property.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
All states have a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for when lawsuits must be filed. A personal injury claim filed in Florida must be filed within four years from the date of the incident that caused the injury.
Who Is Responsible for Your Injury in a Friend’s Home in Florida?
Liability, under Florida law, depends on the type of property and the injured person’s status on that property. Therefore, the reason you were at your friend’s house plays a role in determining their accountability.
People who enter a property do so under very specific circumstances. For example, an “invitee” is on the property for the benefit of the property or business owner. On the other hand, a “licensee” is on the property for their amusement. If you were visiting your friend, you were likely a “licensee.”
To hold your friend liable as a “licensee,” there would have to have been a dangerous condition on the property that your friend knew posed an unreasonable risk to any guests. Additionally, your friend must have failed to either address the danger or warn you about it. For example, if your friend was aware of a broken step but didn’t mention it to you, they could be held responsible if you hurt yourself on the step.
However, people who are trespassing are not given the same rights as invited guests. This could come into play at a friend’s house. Suppose you were at a friend’s party, and they told you not to go near the pool area in the backyard. Furthermore, the pool area was locked. In this case, if you entered the secured area without permission and were injured, you could be prohibited from seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit because you became a trespasser at the point you entered the pool area.
Call Our South Florida Premises Liability Attorney if You Were Injured in Your Friend’s House
No one wants to ruin a friendship because of an injury. But, if you were hurt at a friend’s house, it would be unfair for you to be responsible for all your medical expenses, co-pays, and deductibles. Injuries often result in more damages than just medical costs, you could be out of work for days, weeks, or even months depending on the severity of your injury. You need to protect yourself and your family. Jared K. Newman is a Hallandale Beach personal injury lawyer who understands the difficulty you are facing. He will fight for your rights respectably and compassionately. Call (954) 932-7877 to schedule a free appointment.