Can I personally get sued by someone who fell at my home in addition to them suing under my homeowner’s insurance?

Asked on July 23, 2014 under Personal Injury, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They do not  sue "under your homeowner's insurance"--they sue you, if they believe you were at fault in causing their injury (see below). If you have insurance, your insurer should defend (e.g.  pay for a lawyer), indemnify (pay any amounts you are determined to owe), or even settle the case for some lesser amount the plaintiff, or person suing you, will accept--at least up to the limits of your insurance policy. (An insurer does not need to spend or pay one dime more than your policy is for.)

Therefore, what happens is that the person injured can make a claim for a certain amount of money, which you will presumably pass onto your insurer. If they claim for more than your insurance coverage, or your insurer will not pay (such as because they believe you are not liable; or because  they feel this accident is not covered for some reason), the injured person can sue you; they can sue you for any amounts not paid by your insurer.

If they win--which means, if they can prove that you were at fault in some way, such as by creating or allowing a dangerous condition, like, for example, rickety stairs, to exist (you are only liable if you are at fault; you are not liable solely because someone was injured at your home)--then they can get a judgment against you for an amount equal to the costs and injuries they can prove you caused. You would, as discussed above, have to personally pay any amounts not paid by your insurer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.