Visitor Question

Fell off ladder onto steps while hanging Christmas lights…

Submitted By: John (Michigan)

I live at my brother’s house and was hanging Christmas lights while using a ladder over the front porch. The ladder slipped out from under me which resulted in my falling about 13 feet onto the steps below. I was rushed to the hospital where my injuries were treated and I stayed overnight.

I had a broken sacrum, torn rotator cuff & major bruising. I did not have medical insurance at the time. Would his homeowners insurance be likely to cover my medical bills in this case since I’m a family member living at the house? Is there any other medical assistance I could get to pay for these bills? 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.


Dear John,

Unfortunately, almost all homeowners policies exclude coverage for family members. The exception is if the homeowner purchased a separate “rider” which does include particular family members.

If your brother can’t remember whether or not he purchased a rider, then read your brother’s homeowners insurance policy carefully. If you are still not sure, then call the homeowners insurance company and check with them.

If there is no rider, check to see if your brother’s medical insurance includes you as an insured. If not, you will have to rely on your own medical insurance.

If you don’t have medical insurance, go to the hospital’s administrative offices and ask them if you can make installment payments for the costs of your past, present, and future medical treatment. You might be surprised to find most insurance companies do allow patients to make payments with no interest until the bills are paid in full.

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: December 17, 2014

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