Visitor Question

Can someone sue if a garage door fell on them while on the job?

Submitted By: Margaret (Phoenix, AZ)

My friend is a realtor. While looking at property her boss accidentally hit the button that closes the garage door and it came down on my friend’s head. She was hurt and has been to several doctors who found damage to her neck and back.

My friend is not the type to sue but I think the homeowner’s insurance along with her boss’s insurance should take care of her. She was in great agony and very frightened. She is in physical therapy now. I want to talk to her about this but I want to know if she has a case.

Does she have a case against the homeowner and/or her employer for her injuries? What can she do about this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Margaret,

If the homeowner had placed the property up for sale then there was an expectation realtors and other members of the public would comes onto the property. If that’s the case your friend would be considered an “invitee.”

As an invitee her injuries should be covered under the homeowners insurance policy. At this point there isn’t any reason to file a lawsuit. Instead, after securing the name and contact information for the homeowners insurance company, your friend can file an insurance claim.

If her medical bills and resulting out of pocket medications expenses are under $1,000 (presuming the homeowner has a standard policy) your friend won’t have to prove anyone was negligent. Instead her mere injury, even if the homeowner had nothing to do with it, will be enough to receive a settlement.

To collect any amounts higher than $1,000.00 dollars your friend would have to prove the homeowner was negligent. From the facts you present there doesn’t seem to be any evidence the homeowner was negligent. But the cause of the garage door falling would have to be determined.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 28, 2013

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