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Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, even when visiting friends in their homes. A slip and fall accident on a friend’s property can result in serious injury, leading to medical expenses, lost wages, and a painful recovery. Fall-related injuries are responsible for nearly 25,000 ER visits for adults in South Carolina each year.

It’s essential to know your options for compensation if you fall and injure yourself at a friend’s house and how filing a claim might affect your relationship. Contact our firm for a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced South Carolina injury lawyer.

The slip and fall injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm can explain the benefits of filing for compensation through your friend’s renters’ or homeowners’ insurance and why it shouldn’t negatively impact your friendship.

Common Causes for Fall Injuries at Residential Properties

You may suffer a slip and fall accident when visiting a friend’s home. Slip and fall accidents on residential properties can be caused by several elements, some of which may be outside your friend’s control.

Common causes for slip and falls include:

  • Slippery floors
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Loose carpets or rugs
  • Poor lighting
  • Cluttered walkways
  • Unsecured stairs or railings
  • Faulty or broken furniture
  • Wet or icy outdoor surfaces
  • Steep inclines or declines
  • Low-hanging obstacles

If you suffer an injury at a friend’s home, they may be liable for your damages, whether or not they caused them. You can seek compensation for your resulting medical bills and lost wages after a slip and fall injury, typically through a claim with their renters’ or homeowners’ insurance personal liability coverage.

Why You Should Consider Filing a Claim

After a fall, you may suffer serious injuries such as broken bones or traumatic brain injury that require medical intervention and rehabilitative care.

Treatment for these conditions can be costly, and a lengthy recovery may mean you cannot work, resulting in lost wages. In 2021, the average 12-month cost for a non-fatal fall injury was nearly $10,000 and about 11 days of missed work.

While your health insurance may offer limited coverage for your injuries, it does not cover lost earnings. Additionally, if your fall leaves you permanently disabled, such as after a spine injury, you may experience life-long consequences such as the reduced ability to work or an ongoing need for medical care.

While your friend may have never intended to put you in a situation where you could get hurt, you don’t deserve to pay out-of-pocket for injuries you received at their residence through no fault of your own. A homeowners’ insurance claim provides an option for compensation that does not directly impact your friend’s economic well-being.

Will Filing for Compensation Hurt Your Relationship?

Being inadvertently injured by a friend in their home can be a difficult and emotional experience. There may also be a fear of damaging the relationship with your friend by pursuing legal action to get the money you very much need to cover your medical expenses. Acknowledging these feelings and understanding that they are a natural part of the process is essential.

However, it’s also critical to remember that pursuing legal action is not necessarily a personal attack on your friend. A slip and fall accident on your friend’s property falls under a “premises liability” claim. Premises liability claims are designed to help injured parties obtain the compensation they deserve to recover from injuries.

Although you may feel like suing your friend for damages could harm your relationship, your friend’s homeowners’ or renter’s insurance should cover your compensation, so you will not be hurting your friend financially by making a claim, or taking any money out of their own pocket.

Homeowners’ insurance in the Palmetto State comes with comprehensive personal liability coverage, protecting your friend against financial responsibility if a guest like you is injured on their property.

If you decide to pursue legal action, it is vital to communicate with your friend openly and honestly about what happened and how you are feeling. By talking to your friend about the situation and explaining why your lawyer recommends pursing legal action and why you feel it’s necessary, it’s possible to preserve the relationship and avoid any unnecessary animosity.

Review Your Options for Compensation with Joye Law Firm

When you slip and fall at a friend’s house, you may not feel comfortable filing a claim for compensation against them. However, not filing can leave you with huge medical bills and lowered earnings, which isn’t fair to you or your loved ones.

A slip and fall attorney from Joye Law Firm can review the circumstances of your injury to determine your options for compensation. We will examine your friend’s homeowners’ insurance policy for personal liability coverage to ensure that your future and finances are protected.

Schedule a free consultation with our legal team today to discuss your slip and fall accident and receive compensation for your injuries.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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