It is always fun to gather with friends, eat good food, play games, or just enjoy each other’s company, but what happens when game night gets a little rougher than you anticipated? If you are injured on someone else’s private property, you will need to seek medical treatment, but who pays for the medical bills? Generally speaking, your bills will be paid by the landowner or his or her insurance, since Georgia law requires that property owners keep the premises reasonably safe, including carefully marking any dangerous areas. However, the responsible party will vary depending on where you are injured.
If you are injured at a friend’s home and he or she owns it, you will need the contact information for your friend’s homeowner’s insurance. Your claim will be filed directly with the insurance company. Homeowner’s insurance is not required under Georgia law, so ask your friend whether or not there is a policy in place before assuming that this will be the source of your compensation.
Injuries occurring at rented properties can be more complex. Be sure to document exactly where the injury took place. For example, falling down the outside stairs at an apartment building will likely result in a claim with the landlord or his or her insurance. An injury inside the apartment, however, will need to go through your friend’s renter’s insurance, if applicable.
Building Your Claim
Once you have ensured your safety and sought medical treatment, your next focus should be on taking the necessary steps to collect compensation for your costs. The first step in filing your claim, no matter where the injury occurred, is to document the accident. This includes:
This evidence should then be used as you speak with the relevant insurance company. You may need to send copies of the documents to them, but be certain to retain the originals in case you need them later. If no insurance exists, this same evidence will be important for your attorney to use in your case, as well.
Limitations to Your Compensation
The protections discussed above are only applicable if you are invited onto the property by the owner or are on the property legally. Property owners do not have any responsibility for providing safety for trespassers under Georgia law, though they are prohibited from intentionally causing injury to them. Similarly, land owners cannot be held liable for any injuries or property damage caused by you if you are intoxicated on their land without their consent.
Contact an Attorney
If the responsible party does not have insurance or their insurance refuses to pay, you will need to contact an attorney to pursue a personal injury claim. Be certain to choose the experienced attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, A Personal Injury Law Firm, who can help to expedite the process and get your claim paid quickly.