If a personal injury occurred before the divorce was final, can I file against the wife’s homeowner’s policy for payment of medical fees?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If a personal injury occurred before the divorce was final, can I file against the wife’s homeowner’s policy for payment of medical fees?

The estranged husband was living in an apartment with no
renter’s insurance and had a dog that bit my granddaughter
in the face taking off a chunk of her nose. He was
unemployed and had no funds. My granddaughter’s mother
did not have any way to pay the insurance deductibles for
my granddaughters plastic surgery and hospitalization, so I
paid for it to the tune of 6800. I subsequently learned that
the dog owner’s divorce was not final until a month after the
injury occurred, so I want to know if I can demand that the
estranged wife who owns their house file this against her
homeowners insurance policy so that I can be reimbursed?

Asked on September 28, 2016 under Personal Injury, Texas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The landlord, who owned the apartment building where the dog attack occurred, is liable for the injury.  The personal injury claim should be filed with the landlord's insurance carrier.  The personal injury claim should include the medical bills and medical reports.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.
If the case is settled with the landlord's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If settlement offers from the insurance company are insufficient, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the landlord based on premises liability.  You or another individual will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your granddaughter if she is a minor.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit against the landlord must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your granddaughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.
With regard to the estranged wife, you said she owns a house.  If she doesn't own the apartment building where the dog attack occurred, her homeowner's insurance won't cover this because it did not occur on her property.

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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