Claim against my father's insurance?

by John
(Oklahoma City, OK)

I live at my own place. My father called me to help him replace his water heater, so I went over to help him. The water Heater is located in a waist high closet. We brought down the old one. To place the new one into the closet, my father was up top guiding it into place, and I was at the bottom lifting into the closet.

During the lift, I slipped and fell onto the ground. The water heater landed on top of my right fingers (middle, ring, pinky). I had to go the ER and ended up with $16,000 in medical bills. My private health insurance covered most of it, but I still have to pay $2,000. And I still have therapy to go through.

Will his homeowner's insurance cover me for my portion, or pay anything for my pain and suffering? How can I get reimbursed for this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Claim against my father's insurance?":

John (Oklahoma City, OK):

The liability portion of a homeowners policy may cover family members who are no longer in the homeowner's household. This includes a grown child who maintains his or her own home.

Liability limits in most homeowner's policies generally start at about $100,000, so there should be enough to cover your medical bills. However, since you suffered a significant injury, you may need an attorney to negotiate with the insurance company. At the very least, you should consult with an injury attorney to review the details of your claim.

Additionally, most homeowner's insurance has a form of no-fault medical coverage, known as "MedPay," that covers up to $1,000, sometimes $5,000. In your case, this means you will not have to show your father was negligent in order to be reimbursed for your remaining medical bills, but it will not cover your pain and suffering.

Your father's homeowners insurance should cover your remaining medical bills. Ask your father for the name of his homeowner's insurance carrier, the policy number, and contact information. Then meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your potential compensation. You may be surprised at the amount you're likely entitled to.

Also, try not to feel bad about filing a claim against your father's insurance. Part of the reason he has insurance is to cover the medical expenses of people injured on his property. But your father does not have control over how his insurance company negotiates with you, or the amount they offer to settle your claim.

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

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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