Saturday, August 29, 2015

Is it wrong to sue your neighbor?

You're Injured, Now What?
An update to keep you informed on personal injury situations.

If you are injured in a slip and fall at the grocery store, your immediate response is to file a report on your injuries and seek either compensation or action to prevent further incidents. If the store does not comply with your requests, the obvious next step is to acquire legal representation and sue for compensation. This is pretty common practice and nobody bats an eye at the idea of suing a major corporation or grocery chain. Yet, if you were to stumble over a cracked step while at your neighbor’s house and break your arm, your first response would be embarrassment and then eventually your “neighborly spirit” would guide you in the direction of absorbing the entire fault for the accident. Isn’t it odd how water on the floor of a grocery store is so different than decaying cement at a neighbor’s? Both are property management issues and can cause devastating injuries. Both could have been prevented with proper care. So why is it that we feel so guilty and overall awkward when we ask our neighbors to take responsibility for their negligence? Well, simply put, it’s because it’s easy to put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes and implement the “Golden Rule”, treat others how you wish to be treated. This is a rule that has quelled many a schoolyard squabble; however, in the adult world we have to realize that this rule works both ways. Shouldn’t your neighbor have been trying equally as hard to compensate you for your injuries as you were to take the blame for their lack of property maintenance? In today’s society we have determined that the neighborly thing to do is to turn the other cheek. Well once you’ve scraped your cheek on your neighbor’s pavement a time or two, it might be time to change your position on what’s neighborly. Personally, I think a good neighbor would prevent injuries on their property with proper maintenance and repair. Granted some accidents are unforeseeable, but even those are covered in most homeowner insurance policies. Suing your neighbor isn’t even really suing your neighbor! Most of the time your injuries are covered by their insurance and they won’t have to pay a dime out of pocket. By taking legal action, you are not only getting the compensation you deserve, but are also preventing any other unsuspecting visitor from falling victim to a perilous step. So stop worrying about saving face at the neighborhood block party and hold your neighbors accountable for their mistakes.     

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