There was a fight in my house and someone was injured. Am I responsible for any damages?

UPDATED: Mar 18, 2013

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Asked March 18, 2013

1 Answer

Even if the laws of your state place the liability with you, your insurance company may deny the claim. They can do this is they can reasonably show that you were negligent. In this case, your negligence could be simply allowing the fight to take place without an effort to stop it. This argument is difficult to prove, however, and your insurance will cover the cost of injuries in most cases.

Whether you are liable or not, most experts agree that your insurance company still has a right to know about the incident. If your homeowners policy includes "medical payments," your insurance may cover the injuries regardless of who is at fault. Another good reason to keep your insurer in the loop is to protect yourself if the fight results in a lawsuit being filed against you, as the property owner. Failure to notify your insurance company of the fight means that the insurance company is relieved of their responsibility and that means you'll have to pay for the costs of the suit yourself.

In some states, such as Louisiana, the burden of proof falls on the injured party. In that state, the person who was injured has to show that the property owner is responsible, either by presenting proof that the owner knew of the fight and did nothing to stop or prevent it, or that the property owner is responsible for the injuries through negligence or inaction.

The answer to your question will depend on where you live, and on which company insures you. In most cases, homeowners insurance will pay for the injuries outright, while other situations regard a fight between people who do not live at the home as being a personal or domestic dispute that falls outside of the coverages of a home insurance policy. First, call your state's department of insurance, and then follow up with a call to your insurance agent. Even if the insurance policy does not cover the injuries, you still have an obligation to keep the company informed of incidents which could come back to cause more problems later.

Answered March 18, 2013 by Anonymous

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