Visitor Question

Homeowners insurance refuses to pay medical bills…

Submitted By: Patricia (Muskegon, Michigan, USA)

I was volunteering to stay and sit with an elderly person in their private home. There are two doors identical to each other in the hallway. I opened the door I thought would lead me to the outside door to exit, but instead the door had a long flight of steps. I stepped out into the stairway and fell, ultimately landing on a hard cement basement floor.

I broke a bone in my right foot. I’ve had surgery done but now the homeowner’s insurance doesn’t want to pay my medical bills. What can I do?

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.

Answer

Dear Patricia,

If the homeowner’s insurance refuses to pay you really have no alternative but to retain a Personal Injury Attorney. From the facts you present it seems clearly apparent your injuries occurred on the premise of the elderly woman for whom you had been volunteering.

The laws concerning “Premises Liability” are relatively clear…

You were an “Invitee” – that’s a person who is invited to come on to another’s premises, whether the premise is a business or a residence.

A invitee, like yourself, does not have to be concerned about the negligence of the premise owner. In other words, you do not have to prove the elderly woman’s home was dangerous, or that the woman did something which amounted to a negligent act. All that has to be proved is that you were invited into her home and were injured.

There are a very few exceptions…

-The first would be if you were asked to leave and refused. Then after refusing you were injured.

-The second would be if you were aware of the danger and purposely placed yourself in a position where you may have been imminently injured.

-The third would be if you became intoxicated, and as a result placed yourself in imminent danger of serious bodily harm.

If you do not meet any of the above exceptions you should not be prohibited from receiving compensation for your injuries.

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: August 5, 2011

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