I recently had a call from a nice woman who broke her leg at her parents house. She walked in to use the bathroom and slipped on a wet floor. It turns out there was a hole in the roof that had been there for a while and led to the leak.
If she was at a friend’s house when this happened it would be a slam dunk case. But her question was, can she sue her parents for negligence?
The answer to that question mostly depends on if you live in the house. If you are living there, you would essentially be suing yourself as the residents of a dwelling can all be held responsible for errors in the property. Beyond that, there is a concern that if you could sue your parents when you are living with them, many people would try to run scams to make a fraudulent recovery.
In this case, the woman doesn’t live with her parents, but was just visiting. She had no way to know the roof was leaky and it was negligent of her parents not to warn her, fix the problem or otherwise protect her. So in my opinion she has a great case against them.
The reality is that she’s not suing her parents, she’s making a claim against their insurance company. While theoretically she could also go after their individual assets, that almost never happens. That’s true whether you are suing your parents or anyone else when there is adequate insurance.
These cases do get fought more than your average case because even when you don’t live with your parents, the insurance companies are suspicious as to why you got hurt and if you are trying to pull a fast one. That’s not a problem if you have good, honest facts and a lawyer in your corner who knows that they are doing.
The flip side of this is that parents can also sue their kids under the same scenarios. We helped a Dad who was injured in the house that he rented from his son. We’ve helped grandparents who were injured while visiting their grand kids.
Bottom line is that when there is negligence and an injury, you should always talk to an attorney and see if there is a case no matter who the defendant might be. We are interested in truth and the unique facts of your case. After hearing that we offer an experienced, honest opinion as to if there is a case or not. If you would like to speak with a lawyer for free, call us at 312-346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we will call you.