Vancouver has a reputation for being a tight-knit community, with neighborhoods where residents frequently socialize and chip in to help others. While this is a good thing, it is important to be aware of potential risks. When visiting someone in their home or offering to help in performing routine maintenance tasks, conditions on their property can cause you to suffer potentially serious personal injuries. Depending on the situation, the property owner can be held liable for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incur as a result.
Injuries that Can Occur When Dealing With Neighbors
A Clark County man was recently recognized for his kindness in lending his professional services to local residents in need. A January 7, 2020 report by Clark County Today featured the heartwarming story, in which the man provided free gutter cleaning services to people in the Vancouver and Battle Ground area who were otherwise unable to pay. While his efforts are a great example of how people throughout our community selflessly look out for one another, it is important to proceed with caution when undertaking these types of good deeds yourself.
Using your skills to help neighbors in need comes with certain risks. Common ways injuries can occur include:
- Falling off a ladder while cleaning windows, gutters, or helping with roofing issues;
- Coming into contact with live wiring while installing fixtures or performing electrical repairs;
- Suffering severe cuts and lacerations while using defective or dangerous tools during building projects;
- Being struck by objects, such as falling tree branches, while helping out around your neighbor’s home or yard;
- Straining muscles or suffering other soft tissue injuries while carrying objects or lifting.
While serious personal injuries are more likely to happen when performing repairs or maintenance tasks around a neighbor’s home, they can also arise out of a routine visit. A slip and fall due to uneven paving stones or an encounter with an aggressive pet can end leaving you facing a mountain of medical expenses, for which your neighbor may be liable.
When Injuries Occur on a Neighbor’s Property
Household accidents are a leading cause of personal injury. When they happen on a neighbor’s property, you may be entitled to compensation through their homeowner’s insurance policy. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner for Washington State advises that most policies include at least $100,000 in coverage for injuries and property damages that occur as a result of a homeowner’s negligence.
Even if you were partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. If a settlement with the homeowner and their insurer cannot be reached, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against them through the civil courts.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Neighbor disputes are a delicate matter. At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we provide the trusted legal guidance you need to resolve issues in the most efficient and effective manner, protecting you from paying out of pocket costs. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Vancouver personal injury attorneys online and request a consultation today.