Legal - being sued by neighbor
I am a landlord and the homeowner next door is suing me for personal injury, claiming a leak from my property caused him to fall and break a leg on his property. My tenant never reported the leak to me and said he fixed it himself.
I did nothing wrong but I’m afraid if I don’t settle and it goes to a jury trial they will be prejudiced against landlords and see me as rich because I own several properties (which many are losing money because of escalating property taxes).
I only have umbrella insurance covering losses above $300,000. So I will have to personally pay anything below that.
This is worrying me sick.
Reply from JoeTheRehabber...
Of course I cannot give legal advise!
Talking to an Attorney would be in your best interest as an Active Landlord.
That said, I personally had a slip and fall on my property many years ago. Even though it was on level and dry pavement, they called an ambulance and went to the hospital for injuries.
They called an Attorney to file a claim against me.
Their Attorney advised them for me to file an accident claim with my Insurance Company.
Right or Wrong, I contacted my Insurance company and filed an accident claim report.
My Insurance company paid a claim; the Attorney got half and the plaintiff got half.
I didn't go to Court.
I wasn't contacted by my insurance company either, they just paid the claim.
I was shocked my insurance paid a claim on what seemed to be "fake claim", but those things happen.
I didn't hear anything for Months!
I contacted my insurance company after seeing the comment of a lawsuit claim on my Quarterly bill and found out...
The Insurance company called it a nuisance claim and simply paid it.
It was cheaper for them to pay the claim then to hold a Court Trial.
My Insurance premium did Not increase.
I was not penalized for reporting an accident and the insurance company paying that Claim.
I only had $300,000.00 liability at that time.
I found out...
To increase my liability coverage to $1,000,000.00 was negligible.
If I remember correctly, at that time, the increase of premium was less than $100.00 per year for the increased coverage.
I increased my liability coverages on both my rentals and my home.
I also found out...
Anyone can sue anyone, for any reason, or no reason at all.
Thus, I increased my liability coverages to protect my interests.
My Insurance Agent assured me that these things happen, they're prepared for such claims.
I felt I did Nothing Wrong. My Agent said I did nothing wrong.
The Insurance company paid the Claim.
What happens my Insurance Agent said, "the Plaintiff will now show on record of having a history of suing people".
I was prepared by having insurance.
All is good now, I keep up on my maintenance, pay my insurance premiums, and never make a claim on anything that I should have maintained or neglected.
Hope this helps you some,
Joe The Rehabber
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