If you spend a lot of time with family, it's only natural that there's a chance of having an accident caused by a family member. If you do, can you and should you sue them?
Can You Sue Members of the Same Household?
It is very difficult to sue members of the same household. Claims against people you live with are excluded under most liability insurance policies. Instead, they'd expect you to use your health insurance.
Even skipping insurance, it's very difficult to bring a lawsuit against a member of the same household. Most duties of care extend to outsiders, but the household is considered a single unit even when members are acting independently or have separate finances.
Can You Sue Immediate Family That Doesn't Live With You?
It is easier to make a personal injury claim against immediate family that doesn't live with you. Most of the legal exclusions relate to your physical household and not your type of relationship.
However, these types of claims can come under closer scrutiny for potential fraud. This is especially true if you're going through insurance. The reason is a family member has more reason to help you commit fraud than a stranger you had an accident with.
Who Pays for a Lawsuit Against a Family Member?
If you bring a personal injury lawsuit against a family member, it's important to understand who is actually paying. Even though you technically name your family member in the lawsuit, most of the time, it's the insurance company that's going to pay.
Paying for accidents is exactly why everyone should have insurance, so no one could get upset if you go through their insurance. You may not even be able to go through your insurance. For example, if you get hurt at someone else's house, your health insurance company might tell you that they won't cover your claim because the owner's home insurance policy should.
How Do You Prove a Personal Injury Claim Against a Family Member?
This type of personal injury claim is just like any other. You need to prove that you were injured, how the other person caused it or should have prevented it, and what it cost you. Even if your family member wants your claim to be paid, you may still need to provide legal proof to the insurance company or take them to court to get them to pay.
To learn more about filing a personal injury claim against a family member, contact a company like Snyder & Wenner, P.C.