Visitor Question

Injured While Working Off the Books…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I was working off the books rehabbing a house for its owner. I was re-adjusting a middle cabinet in the kitchen on a ladder when I fell off and caught the back of my arm and shoulder.

I told the owner and she said “too bad, that’s your problem”. I have no workers’ compensation benefits or health insurance. I am now in a lot of pain and could have serious injuries, but since I don’t have insurance I haven’t gotten it checked out. The owner of the house has now fired me from the job.

Do I have any recourse?

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 Anonymous,

You may have legal recourse against the homeowner whether she wants to cooperate or not.

You were an “invitee” onto her property.

Your type of employment really shouldn’t affect your claim against the homeowner. You, like anyone else, were invited onto her property and have a legitimate claim against her (the homeowner) for the injuries you sustained.

One of the good things about homeowners insurance is the lack of a requirement of negligence under the MedPay portion. The sheer action of being injured on someone’s property is enough to start the action of compensation for injuries. MedPay coverage is usually between $1,000 to $5,000. If medical bills exceed that amount, you’ll have to file a claim and prove negligence.

You have to learn the name of the homeowner’s insurance company. Without it you may have to seek legal counsel. Attorneys have subpoena power and during the pre-trial discovery process they may gain access to the homeowners insurance company information.

Once the insurance information is secured you will be on your way to filing a legitimate claim for the injuries you sustained on the woman’s property.

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 31, 2011

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