Hurt While Helping a Neighbor...

by Al
(Connecticut, USA)

My neighbor asked me to hold a ladder on his property while he cut a large limb about 8' - 10' in size off one of his trees. He climbed the ladder with a chain saw while I held the ladder. I couldn't see up while he was cutting because of the saw dust being thrown down by the chain saw.

Long story short,the large limb hit me in the head splitting it open. The gash was about 3/8" - 1/2" wide and about 3" - 4" long. He gave me no warning when the limb was about to fall.

I was out of work for 2 weeks and had to use all my earned sick time. I also now have a scar. I don't want to sue him but can his homeowners insurance compensate me?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hurt While Helping a Neighbor...":

Al (Connecticut, USA):

Yes. Your neighbor's homeowners insurance should be able help take care of not only your medical bills, but your lost wages as well. Your injury is a "text-book" example of an injury which is covered by homeowners insurance.

You were an "invitee" onto your neighbor's property. While on his property you were injured. Liability or negligence is not an issue in your case.

Ask your neighbor for the name, address, and telephone number of his homeowners insurance company. Contact them and set up a claim. The Claims Adjuster should give you a Claim Number. If she forgets, make sure you ask her for it. The claim number is the reference for your case. That way whether your adjuster becomes ill, is transferred, is fired, or resigns, you will still have immediate access to your claim.

The Adjuster will take your recorded statement (probably over the telephone). Go ahead, it's perfectly normal.

Whatever you, do don't agree to settle the claim until you have seen a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. If that scar is in a prominent area you may want to have it removed. Doing so will require additional funds.

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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