Neighbor is asking me to fix more than what was damaged by my contractor. Is this fair? Legal?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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Insurance Question from Chestnut, NJ

Asked on 09/06/2011

Neighbor is asking me to fix more than what was damaged by my contractor. Is this fair? Legal? Had bathroom work done by insured contractor and water damage to neighbor apt. Contractor ready to fix damage but neighbor want more fixed than was damaged because of his inconvenience. I feel this is unreasonable. Your thoughts appreciated.

Answer given on September 07, 2011

If the contractor did damage to your neighbor’s property while working on your residence, it sounds like a situation between your neighbor and the contractor. I don’t see how you are responsible for the damages, since the contractor was doing the work.If your neighbor continues to demand compensation, and the contractor can’t or won’t settle, I would recommend that you contact your insurance agent to advise them of the situation and put them on notice for a possible liability claim. Your agent can help you in this situation. The agent does not need to report it to your company at this time, unless the neighbor files a suit against you. If your neighbor continues to contact you, ask them to speak with your insurance agent.It may be that your neighbor is simply trying to get some additional compensation for their inconvenience. If they actually sustained additional damage, then the contractor should make good on those damages. If your insurance company gets involved, and makes a payment to your neighbor, the company may decide to try to get reimbursement from the contractor, since the problem and/or damages arose from their activity.

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