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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Tenant Hurt on Premises

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Texas

    Tenant fell in the creek 150 yards behind his rental unit last Sept.....or so he says, there were no witnesses or an ambulance. He never asked for any insurance information until I received a certified letter from a lawer today. If the insurance doesn't pay, what chance does he have winning in court? Doesn't the home owner need to be negligent?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Tenant Hurt on Premise

    Short answer is I doubt his chances in court.

    You didn't say, but I assume you're renting the tenant an apartment or house, and the creek is located INSIDE the perimeter of your property. You didn't say if there is a lease, but under the "warranty of habitability", even without a lease, the owner is just responsible for renting out a safe place to live, and make sure walkways are safe, and no obvious hazards on the grounds, such as sinkholes, or collpased septic tanks.

    Now, you are talking about a creek, a natural formation, some 500 yards away. I know in the case of vacation resorts, public trails, or commercial malls, there is expectation that the public would walk around, and warning signs are posted. But this is not a public area, and if the creek can be seen at a distance, there are no needs for signs, as there are no need for signs that grounds are uneven, you might trip, or trees ahead, and you might walk into it.

    There is a duty for people to look where they are going, so I would just forward the letter to your insurance. I had a business, had customer trip and falls inside my premises, and they have a hard time collectiong from my insurance let alone a creek 500 feet away. And we knew about the fall the same day it happened, and the customer bought pictures of him all black and blue the next day. The customer had a lawyer, and his lawyer gave up after the insurance refused to pay telling him to just go and sue.

    This is besides the fact that no claim was immediately made on it. He would have a hard time even if he told you what happened 5 minutes later, and with videos taken, in which case, it'll be a "so what".

    In my case, my insurance requires that they be notified in 30 days or the claim is denied for the simple reason that they send adjusters to check things out, and in many situations, you can't check things out months later, as an example, seeing if the accident is due to snow and ice in the middle of the summer.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Tenant Hurt on Premise

    Yes, he is renting a house at my moms place. She only made a verbal month to month lease agreement. The property line runs down the middle of the creek, way back in the woods.
    This is not an issue wheather he saw the creek or not, he intentinally climbed down in it to retrieve a dropped cell phone.
    The letter from his lawer is demanding insurance info. within 7 days or he will come after her personally. If She is obviously not negligent, is she required to give the lawer, or insurance co. that info? Thanks for your input.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Tenant Hurt on Premise

    Quote Quoting landlord2205
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    Yes, he is renting a house at my moms place. She only made a verbal month to month lease agreement. The property line runs down the middle of the creek, way back in the woods.
    This is not an issue wheather he saw the creek or not, he intentinally climbed down in it to retrieve a dropped cell phone.
    The letter from his lawer is demanding insurance info. within 7 days or he will come after her personally. If She is obviously not negligent, is she required to give the lawer, or insurance co. that info? Thanks for your input.
    In this case, if the tenant climbed down to retrieve a cell phone, then the doctrine of "assumption of risk" can be invoked. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_risk

    As to the letter demanding an answer in seven days, I would just ignore that and forward the letter to your insurance, and let the insurance answer them in seven days. If the lawyer is foolish enough to start action because you couldn't answer fast enoguh, say he starts legal action, you'll just notify the insurance in that case anyway, and let them handle. So the lawyer pound sand.

    And then if they bother you further, tell them you only deal with them through your attorney, or one hired by your insurance, and you DO NOT deal with the tenant's attoreny directly.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Tenant Hurt on Premise

    Thank you, I will forward the lawers letter to the insurance co. and ignor his request. Let the lawyer pound sand (that's a new one on me!) If he proceeds in sueing her personally, why should THAT be forwarded to the insurance co.? It would be a seperate suite against HER, nothing to do with the insurance co. I forsee having to pay for representation on a simple case she is sure to win. Is it not recomended to represent myself? Well, I'm counting my chickens before they hatch. You're probably right, he'll drop it after the insurance declines him. I can't imagine his lawer persuing it unless he drops a bunch of money. He works from the house giving guitar lessons and may still be dealing with recent warrent fines. Thanks again, you've made me feel so much better!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Tenant Hurt on Premise

    Quote Quoting landlord2205
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    Thank you, I will forward the lawers letter to the insurance co. and ignor his request. Let the lawyer pound sand (that's a new one on me!) If he proceeds in sueing her personally, why should THAT be forwarded to the insurance co.? It would be a seperate suite against HER, nothing to do with the insurance co. I forsee having to pay for representation on a simple case she is sure to win. Is it not recomended to represent myself? Well, I'm counting my chickens before they hatch. You're probably right, he'll drop it after the insurance declines him. I can't imagine his lawer persuing it unless he drops a bunch of money. He works from the house giving guitar lessons and may still be dealing with recent warrent fines. Thanks again, you've made me feel so much better!
    I own rentals and businesses, and I always get myself General Liability insurance. The whole purpose of it is if someone sues me personally, I just send the claim to the insurance company, and they then go and hire the lawyers, pretty much the way auto insurance works, you get into an accident, someone sues you personally, the insurance company comes in to defend you, all as part of the insurance coverage.

    Don't represent yourself, ever.

    I had some customer come after me in a slip and fall case, he got a lawyer, but the lawyer had no luck going in circles with the insurance company, so the lawyer stopped returning the calls to my customer who's suing me. Based on the facts of the case you presented, got to be an idiot lawyer to even waste his time on it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1

    Default Re: Tenant Hurt on Premise

    It such a bad news that insurance company also be doing illegal work. I think from my opinion you should be contact to the consumer court.

    It such a bad news that insurance company also be doing illegal work. I think from my opinion you should be contact to the consumer court.

    Family Divorce Lawyer

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