When you are injured at a friend’s home or business, you may need to pursue compensation for injuries or damage that occurred as a result. But doing so can be even more of a challenge due to the additional baggage of personal relationships involved.
To navigate this difficult time, you should understand some things in this situation that could hinder you from receiving the settlement you need to recover. Here are a few of the key obstacles and how you can overcome them.
1. Your Own Hesitancy
If you’re injured on the property of a bank or shopping mall, most people wouldn’t be concerned about the feelings of that business owner. But when you’re injured on the property of someone you know and love, things are often very different. You likely don’t want to cause trouble for your friend or relative. You don’t want to cost them money. Or you just may not want to be a source of aggravation or extra work.
While these feelings are common and legitimate when friendships are involved, they should not prevent you from being realistic and logical about your needs. If you need medical treatment or compensation for lost wages, you must look after your best interests even if this is difficult.
Be open and honest with your friend about your concerns and let them know that you want to continue to have a good relationship with them even if you must take legal action against their insurer.
2. The Homeowner’s Reluctance
The property owner might be hesitant to turn in a claim against their own insurance or cooperate with yours for a variety of reasons. Most often, the owner is concerned that their premium rates will rise or that their insurance may be canceled. They may also feel emboldened to take this route with a friend or relative who is reluctant to object.
Talk with them about any hesitancy to make a claim and stress your need to get adequate and necessary compensation. If your friend is still unwilling to let you know about their insurance coverage, you may need to initiate a lawsuit against them in order to get this information. While unpleasant, this is a legal reality that you may not have any choice about.
3. The Insurance Company’s Offer
Even if you are able to get the information you need, dealing with insurance companies is often difficult for the average person. The insurance company may first try to deny the claim based on such grounds as inadequate proof that the homeowner was liable for the accident or a factual error made by the insured party.
Be aware that the insurance company’s motives are often to keep payouts as low as possible. Denials and low offers are sometimes part of their negotiation tactics. If you do encounter these methods, don’t take out your frustration or stress on the homeowner. They have little or no part in the company’s actions — and in fact, they can still have a role in your success in a lawsuit.
4. Fears About Legal Proceedings
Do you know your legal rights if your claim was denied or the settlement was woefully inadequate? Again, while many people are willing to pursue all legal remedies if the accident involves a stranger’s property, they may be fearful to entangle a friend in a legal battle.
One of the best ways to overcome this worry is to bring the homeowner with you to meet with your attorney. You and they together can address the owner’s concerns and understand how a suit will affect all parties.
Do you still have worries about initiating a claim or a lawsuit over an accident that involves a friend or family member? Educate yourself about the options and process and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Anthony-Smith Law, P.A, we can help. Call today to make an appointment and find the best way to get your compensation and still maintain your friendships.