Our son was purchasing a used travel trailer from a small RV dealer. A purchase order agreement was completed, on the condition of certain items being repaired to satisfaction of the buyer.
Following completion of repairs a week later, Dad accompanies son to look at the trailer and verify the repairs were done.
The dealer had placed a piece of carpet over the top of sheet of plastic over vinyl floor at the trailer door entrance. Dad steps on the piece of carpet which then slipped. Dad fell and suffered a compound leg fracture requiring surgical repair.
The dealership is refusing to provide insurance information, stating that their agent advised that our son is responsible for Dad’s injury because Son bought the trailer.
Actually, the sale had not been completed at the time of Dad’s slip and fall, payment had not been exchanged and the sales agreement had not been completed.
How can we find out the insurance company to make an injury claim? What other options might we have? Thanks in advance for any information.
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.
Thank you for your question. If you can find out the insurer of the RV dealer, then Dad can file an injury claim with that company. If not, then you can try to file a lawsuit against the business under a negligence theory.
RV Dealer’s Negligence
Contrary to the RV dealer’s insurer, your son is not responsible for his Dad’s injuries. A property owner is responsible for an injury on their property if they acted negligently.
A property owner acts negligently if they fail to make reasonable efforts to ensure that their property is safe. They are also negligent if they knew of a hazardous condition on their property but failed to fix it.
If you can successfully prove negligence, then you’re entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
Here, we’d have to learn more about the facts of your case to determine whether or not the RV dealer was negligent for Dad’s slip and fall.
If the dealer knew, or should have known that the piece of carpeting posed a danger, yet did not fix the problem, then you might prove successful with a claim. However, if the dealer was completely unaware of the carpeting, you might face some difficulties establishing negligence.
If you can try and gather some evidence of Dad’s fall, that would help determine the likelihood of being successful with an injury claim.
Send the RV Dealer a Notification Letter
If the evidence shows that the dealer might have caused Dad’s accident, then you’ll want to file a personal injury claim with the dealer’s insurance company.
To help get the insurer’s contact information, you’ll want to send a notification letter to the dealer. In the letter, Dad will inform the dealer about his accident and request the insurer’s contact information.
Once you receive this information, Dad can then send a letter to the insurer giving it notice that he intends to file an injury claim.
I know the dealer has already refused to provide this information, but writing a letter will help prove that you requested it.
If you don’t receive a response, you may then want to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer might contact the RV dealer on your behalf. Sometimes parties are more willing to disclose information if an attorney requests it.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the RV Dealer
If the RV dealer does not respond to your letter, then you have the option of filing a lawsuit.
Your husband could file a lawsuit in a Small Claims Court if his injuries are not too costly. In Washington State, you can file a suit against the dealer in Small Claims Court if your case is worth up to $10,000.
A good thing about Small Claims Court is that you don’t have to pay for a lawyer. Lawyers are not allowed to represent parties in these courts.
If your case is worth more than $10,000, then you’ll want to file your lawsuit in a Washington Superior Court. If you go this route, you should hire an attorney for help. Superior Court lawsuits are complex, and a lawyer will help protect your interests.
Learn more here: Retail Store Injury Claims
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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