Can I Sue If I Slip and Fall at My Ex’s Home?
The validity of slip and falls and trip and falls claims are determined by law of premises liability. Usually they occur at a commercial property like a grocery outlet, but they can also happen in private residences. Can you take legal action if you’ve experienced an accident in the home of a former spouse?
Premises Liability Law
According to premises liability law, if someone suffers an injury on another’s property, the owner or occupiers of the property are responsible. This includes cases of slip and fall or trip and fall.
There are a few criteria for legal action:
- State of residence partially determines liability of an owner or occupier.
- Claimants are classified in some states and that affects the duties of the owner/ occupier of the property.
- A duty of care ensures a property is maintained as safe for anyone who may come on the property regardless of reason for their presence.
- Other states will take the condition of the property at the time of injury to determine if it is safe or not.
Types of Claimants
- Invitee: You are an invitee if you are picking up your kids from the ex-spouse’s home and you enter the home to retrieve them. They are legally obligated to ensure that the home is not in hazardous condition.
- Licensee: A person invited onto the property by the owner or occupier. For example, a contractor hired to do work on the property is considered an invitee.
- Trespasser: Although you were not invited onto the property, there is still a duty of care owed to trespassers. You may be able to file a claim against your spouse if you are harmed on their property by a dangerous condition that should have been fixed. However, your status as an ex spouse may cause the judge to consider your status and throw out the case if it seems the injury was intentional.
Intra-Family Tort Immunity
The intra- family tort immunity doctrine is still followed in some states. This means that family members are not allowed to sue each other, although if you are legally divorced from your ex, it is likely you are able to sue them.
Cases like these are extremely common. It is important that you speak with an experienced lawyer, like a slip and fall lawyer Milwaukee WI relies on soon after an injury. They will review your case thoroughly and advise you on the next steps in the process.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into personal injury practice.