Injured in Mobile Home Park...

by George
(Belleville, Michigan, USA)

I live at a mobile home park and pay a lot of rent. My buddy that lives with me cut his foot really bad outside. He was cleaning up along the side of the trailer when he stepped on a piece of glass that cut his foot.

Can he sue me or does he sue the trailer park owners? It happened outside my trailer, not on the inside. What should he do? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured in Mobile Home Park...":

George:

To answer your questions properly it would be important to know if the area where your buddy cut his foot was located on the property you were leasing or owned. Normally with trailer parks the trailer is assigned a lot. If your buddy was cut within the dimensions of your assigned lot then technically he can sue you. He can also sue the trailer park owners.

Let’s talk about the reality of this event...

Unless your buddy’s cut was so severe as to cut a tendon or ligament, or in any other way adversely affected his ability to walk, whether permanently or temporarily, then worrying about any lawsuits is really unnecessary. From the facts you present we can surmise your friend’s injuries were not so severe as to require serious medical attention.

Lets then talk about what might happen if your buddy’s cut was less severe...

If your buddy suffered, lets say a cut which was severe enough to require stitches then he should be able to come to you and ask you to pay for his stitches, related medical bills, money he spent for medicine or bandages (called "out of pocket expenses"), and any lost wages he incurred while tending to his injury.

He can also go to the trailer park owners and ask them for the same. Under the law, when these types of injuries occur liability is called “collective and separate.” The fancy legal term means you and the trailer park owners are both equally liable to pay you for the same costs.

Legally your buddy can collect the full amount twice; once from the trailer park owners and again from you.

If you have trailer park insurance you can give your buddy the name of the company and their phone number. He can then contact them. If the cut occurred on your property your insurance company should take care of the medical bills and other costs related to the injury. The same holds true for the trailer park owners.

If your buddy can’t collect from either of you he can file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court against you, the trailer park owners, both of you, or either of you.

If his medical bills and related costs are less than $5,000 dollars then he can take his case to Small Claims Court. The State of Michigan has a maximum Small Claims limit of $5,000 dollars. That amount can include your buddy’s medical bills, out of pocket expenses and any lost wages he might have incurred as a result of the injury.

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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Comments for Injured in Mobile Home Park...

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Personal liability in a co-op mobile home park?
by: Anonymous

What if the Mobile Home park is owned as a co-op by the homeowners, and the guest was uninvited?

Response...
by: Law Guy

George (Belleville, Michigan, USA):

It's likely the homeowners co-op maintains liability insurance to cover personal property damage and injuries occurring on the land generally owned or maintained by the co-op.

Your follow up question asks about the liability you or the homeowner's co-op may have for injuries sustained by an uninvited guest.

While a visitor may be technically uninvited by a co-op member or individual who may own or rent a trailer within the park, that visitor is considered to be either a "licensee" or an "invitee."

That's a fancy legal term which refers to people who enter onto real property (land) for reasons other than to perpetuate crimes.

A licensee is a person who enters onto the property for reasons other than to conduct business or perpetuate crimes.

An invitee is a person who comes upon the property to conduct business.

For example, a delivery driver is technically an uninvited person. So is a postal employee. Yet, both are considered invitees. Once upon the property those invitees have a right to be safe from undue harm and injury.

On the other hand, let's say a person decides to make an unannounced visit to a friend or family member who owns or rents a trailer. That person is considered a licensee.

Unless there was a sign in plain view at or near the entrance to the mobile home park, which clearly stated uninvited persons were not allowed on the premises, then just about anyone other than criminals has a right to enter upon the land.

This includes licensees and invitees.

Moreover, once a licensee or invitee is on the property, the co-op or owner of all the property (if different entities) have a "legal duty of care" to protect those licensees and invitees from undue harm or injury.

So does the individual who owns or rents trailer space upon which a licensee or invitee enters.

If you have homeowners insurance, it should cover your friend's medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and even related lost wages.

Homeowners insurance doesn't normally pay any amounts for pain and suffering or emotional distress. The co-op's liability insurance would cover the same, and possibly additional amounts for pain and suffering. This of course depends on how extensive the policy is.

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