What are my rights to obtain a homeowner’s insurance information, if they are not forthcoming with it if I was injured at their backyard party 4 weeks ago?

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What are my rights to obtain a homeowner’s insurance information, if they are not forthcoming with it if I was injured at their backyard party 4 weeks ago?

The homeowner allowed 3 dogs to run and play for the duration of the party and 1 of them ran into me, fracturing my knee. I wrote a letter to homeowner requesting their homeowner’s insurance information. Can I use small claims court to get info?

Asked on July 9, 2015 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You don't file a lawsuit to get information--you file a lawsuit to sue (i.e. to get money). You can certainly sue the homeowner in court (small claims or otherwise) for your injuries; if you can prove that letting the dogs run and play during the party was negligent, or unreasonably careless (basically that no reasonable person would have let their dogs run and play then) and that the dog caused the injury, you could potentially recover your medical costs, maybe some pain and suffering, lost wages if applicable, etc. You sue the homeowner, not the insurer (and remember: the insurer would not have to pay you anything unless and until you sued their insured and won; that's not to say that they might not choose to pay something and settle the case without a lawsuit, but they are not required to); if you win and they have insurance that would cover this, then the insurer should pay on their behalf.


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