Why it’s OK to sue your own family or friends for injuries
The parents of a baby girl successfully sued the girl’s grandmother for dropping her, an incident that caused the baby severe head injuries.
A son sued his father after he lost the tip of a finger unloading a boat from a trailer when he was operating under his father’s instructions.
A girl chasing her girlfriend at school ran into a glass door the girlfriend had slammed shut in front her. She was injured and sued her girlfriend.
Household and contents insurance usually covers injury
In the cases listed above, the injured person wasn’t suing the family member, but the insurance company. Most household and content insurance policies provide insurance cover if you negligently injure someone anywhere within Australia.
Suing someone in your own family or a close friend doesn’t necessarily mean there are any bad feelings. Family members are not necessarily at war or even upset with each other. If someone is injured due to the negligence of others and they are covered by an insurance policy, then the injured person is entitled to make a claim, and should do so to recover some of the costs of medical treatment from the insurance company.
After all, we pay the insurance premiums to protect us from loss, not to make the insurance company rich. The cost of medical treatment can be very high. Furthermore, the injured person may be off work for some time and might be able to claim for loss of income.
The law regarding injury compensation has had many changes in recent years, so it is important to consult an expert in compensation law if you are injured at home, at work or in a public place, because you might have the right to financial help to meet your costs.
Most personal injury cases settled in mediation
Most of the time the insurance claims won’t get to court or into long and costly legal battles, because they are settled out of court in a mediation process. The insurance companies usually fight hard not to have to pay compensation, so it is important to have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the legal arguments.
For instance, normally family members who reside with you are not covered by the policy if they themselves are injured. But if they are outside the family home then they might be eligible.
The State Insurance Regulatory Authority’s website has additional information about compensation for injuries incurred in the workplace within New South Wales.