When You Poison Your Guests

Feb 10, 2017 | Firm News

Home Owners Insurance

When you see a movie where a dinner guest keels over into the soup, you can tell the lawyer at the table. While others look confused, the lawyer grabs the Homeowners Insurance Policy. The reason is simple. That is where the money is to cover such unforeseen events.

Accidents at home are more common than most people think. There are millions of them each year. If you give your guests food poisoning or they have an allergic reaction to something you serve, you may be involved in one of them.

The law in Alabama involving homeowners and their guests can be a bit confusing. Part of this is because the law sees 2 different groups of people coming to your house. In the south, your cousin is often your electrician but to the law they are very different. Add to this that the legal terms sound just the opposite of what most people think.

Your friends, relatives and social guests are called licensees. The other group of lawn guys, UPS drivers and contractors (often the folk who have licenses) are called invitees.

The invitees often have their own insurance. The licensees are looking to you to pay their medical bills and for pain and suffering.

Over my legal career, I have handled thousands of claims against Homeowners Policies. It is amazing what they cover once you know what to look for. Some common examples are dog bites, slip and fall, drug overdoses (usually children getting into a medicine cabinet), drowning, and electrical burns.

Here is the big thing to remember. No policy covers something you or your guests do intentionally. That means if your brother’s date is thrown into a pool (no matter how funny you think it is) or your uncles start slugging each other over a football game, nothing is covered.

The law in Alabama states that homeowners must do everything reasonably possible to provide a safe area for those on their property. So have fun … but fix the front steps.

If you are injured, you can talk to us at Eiland and Ritchie for free. There is no charge unless we collect for you. We want to help you and in doing so get you back on your feet.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama personal injury lawyer