When Can You Sue Your Neighbor’s Homeowners Insurance?
If you were on your neighbor’s property when you suffered a serious injury, you may be able to file a claim against your neighbor’s homeowners insurance policy for coverage for your medical bills. Similarly, if your neighbor was negligent and this caused you property damage or negatively impacted the value of your home, your neighbor’s insurance company has to pay the price. You may need to reach out to an insurance lawyer for assistance with this type of claim in Phoenix.
Premises Liability Accident Claims
The average homeowners insurance policy covers many different types of incidents that may occur on the policyholder’s property. This includes personal injury accidents that are caused by the policyholder’s negligence, such as the failure to maintain a safe premises.
If you get injured in an accident while on your neighbor’s property, such as a slip and fall accident, swimming pool accident, dog attack, or staircase accident, you can file a claim for financial compensation through your neighbor’s homeowners insurance company.
Ask your neighbor for his or her homeowners insurance information after the accident. If a dangerous property defect caused your injury, take photographs before your neighbor has the chance to make repairs. Then, file a claim through the policy to request financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Most insurance companies accept and pay for claims brought by injured property visitors. However, if your neighbor’s insurer rejects your claim or does not offer a high enough settlement, you may have to sue your neighbor through a personal injury claim instead.
Property Damage Caused by Your Neighbor
Another reason you may need to file a claim through your neighbor’s homeowners insurance is if your property gets damaged or loses value due to some fault of your neighbor. Sharing a property line with someone could expose you to property damage risks if your neighbor isn’t careful. Common examples of neighbor negligence that can lead to an insurance claim or lawsuit in Phoenix include:
- Cutting down a tree that falls on your fence, home or vehicle.
- Failing to trim back a dead tree, resulting in a fallen limb.
- Plumbing or pipeline problems that lead to flooding on your property.
- Starting a fire that spreads to your property.
- Allowing a dog to run at large and damage your property.
To be eligible for homeowners insurance benefits from your neighbor’s insurance provider, you must prove that your neighbor caused the damage to your property in question – not you, someone else or natural causes, such as a storm. This may require assistance from property damage and insurance experts, as well as evidence such as photographs, videos, property assessments and eyewitness statements.
What Happens if Your Claim Gets Denied?
If you sue your neighbor’s homeowners insurance and your claim gets denied, don’t give up. You may be able to file an appeal to reverse the insurer’s decision. If you suspect insurance bad faith, such as a wrongfully denied homeowners insurance claim or unreasonably low settlement offer, you may be able to file an additional claim against the insurance company for mishandling your case.
You can sue your neighbor directly rather than suing the homeowners insurance company, in some circumstances. This might be necessary if the insurance company denied your claim, or your damages are worth more than the maximum amount in liability protection available on the policy. Most homeowners insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 in coverage for third-party claims. If you need more than this for something particularly damaging, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Do not be afraid to bring a claim against your neighbor’s homeowners insurance company after a harmful incident. You are not technically suing your neighbor, so it should not burn any bridges; you are simply seeking financial compensation from his or her insurance provider for your injuries or property losses. Most insurance claims are accepted without having to sue your neighbor. For assistance with this type of claim in Arizona, contact Surrano Law Offices for a free consultation with an attorney.