The weather is slowly getting better and the days are getting longer, and that means a lot of folks in Connecticut will start heading outdoors to see how their properties fared over the long winter months. If you’re young and spry, you may get asked to scurry up a ladder or two or climb out onto a neighbor’s roof to see what’s going on.
What happens if you fall? You aren’t a professional contractor, so you don’t have the kind of insurance coverage that it takes to provide for your medical bills and financial needs if you’re injured.
It’s a complicated question that doesn’t always have easy answers. Generally speaking, when a property owner invites you over, it’s assumed that they’re taking reasonable steps to assure your safety. That’s a basic tenant of property liability laws. If you get hurt in a fall on your neighbor’s property, you have a broad right to pursue a claim against their home insurance company.
However, when you agree to climb up on someone’s roof, you are assuming a certain amount of risk. It’s clearly a little bit dangerous to go up a ladder or climb out an upstairs window. If you fall, your neighbor may have an affirmative defense that minimizes or negates your losses.
Under Connecticut’s laws, which use a modified comparative negligence rule, as long as you aren’t 51% or more responsible for your own injuries, you still have a claim against your neighbor.
Issues like these can be complicated — and insurance companies may fight to avoid payment. If you’re injured in a fall on a neighbor’s property, find out more about your legal options for compensation.