If my 15 year old daughter fell off a woodpile at my ex-husband’s house and broke her arm and now requires surgery, can I sue my ex-husband?

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If my 15 year old daughter fell off a woodpile at my ex-husband’s house and broke her arm and now requires surgery, can I sue my ex-husband?

Asked on October 3, 2015 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with your ex-husband's homeowner insurance carrier.  That insurance carrier should be notified in writing of your daughter's personal injury claim.
When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in her medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Your daughter's personal injury claim filed with the homeowner's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of her 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 homeowner insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the homeowner insurance, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for your daughter against your ex-husband based on premises liability.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because a minor cannot file a lawsuit herself.
If the case is NOT settled with the homeowner insurance, your daughter's lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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