Mother-in-law, here on tourist visa, injured on my business property...

by Anonymous

My Mother in law slipped on a temporary structure I had placed at my business to prevent water from flowing into the building. She is a foreigner visiting on a visitor's visa. She has no medical insurance in the USA and the fall caused a fracture to her vertebrae.

I have business liability insurance, and I personally cannot afford her medical expenses out of pocket. Would my mother be covered even though she's here on a visa? How can I get her medical expenses covered? What is my best course of action here? Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Mother-in-law, here on tourist visa, injured on my business property...":

Anonymous (Texas):

It doesn't matter if a person injured on your premises is a U.S. citizen, a tourist here on a Visa, or even a person in the United States illegally. Your business liability insurance is meant to cover injuries sustained by any third parties who are legally on your business premises.

For legal purposes, your mother is classified as a "Licensee" who was legally upon your property. In a premises liability claim, a Licensee is a person who has permission from the property owner to be on the premises, not to transact business, but rather for social or personal reasons.

Property owners like yourself have a legal duty of care to do everything within reason to assure Licensees do not suffer undue harm or injuries.

In most cases, property owners will be held accountable, or "liable" for a Licensee’s injuries if:

- The property owner knows or should know there is a condition on the property which poses an unreasonable risk of harm to anyone who encounters it; and

- The property owner could not reasonably expect the Licensee to realize the existence of danger or how serious the danger is; and

- The property owner did not use reasonable care to eliminate the danger or to warn visitors that there was a dangerous condition on the property; and

- The licensee was unaware of the dangerous condition and the risk it posed.

Contact your business liability insurance carrier and submit your mother's injury claim. From the facts you present, there is no evidence your mother-in-law contributed to her own injuries. As a result, your insurance carrier should cover her medical bills and related Damages.

Damages are unique to every person and every injury. Your mother-in-law's damages can include her medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, crutches, wheelchairs, nursing costs, etc.), lost wages, and for her pain and suffering, sometimes referred to as emotional distress or mental anguish.

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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