What to do if I was assisting a friend’s mother move her insurance office from one location to another but during the move I injured my right shoulder?

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What to do if I was assisting a friend’s mother move her insurance office from one location to another but during the move I injured my right shoulder?

The injury is a torn rotator cuff and requires surgery to repair. I informed my friends mother of the injury and was informed that she didn’t have insurance on the property. I was told to ‘keep this to myself’ as she couldn’t afford to be sued. I am not able to work and can’t lift my right arm over shoulder height without serious pain. So do I have a case against her for personal injury?

Asked on November 9, 2012 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A person is not liable to pay for your injury simply because you were injured on her property or while helping her. Rather, your friend's mother would only be liable for the injury if she was "at fault" in some way in causing it, which means if she did something careless, or negligent, which caused the injury. So, for example, say you and she were lifting a desk or couch, she was distracted by her cell phone and dropped her end, causing you to take the full weight and be injured; in that case, she might well be liable. On the other hand, say you were lifting a heavy box by yourself and just happened to injure your shoulder.  Since you voluntarily chose to lift that box and no one else was at fault or caused the injury, you could not recover money from anyone, including your friend's mother.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your friend's mother is liable for your injury based on premises liablity, which means you were injured on her property.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for premises liability) should include the above items.

You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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