Letters: I Was Injured While Hanging Christmas Lights At A Neighbor’s House, Who Can Help Pay Medical Bills?

Dear Chandler, 

I was recently hired to work on a few projects hanging Christmas lights around the neighborhoods in my area. The jobs came through a small contractor in the area I’m friendly with. 

While we were hanging the wreaths on a garage in one of the fancier neighborhoods, I slipped on the front porch because of the ice and snow that had accumulated.  It looked fine when I was stepping down from the ladder, but my knees gave out and my feet slipped right out from underneath me. I thought I landed on my tailbone, but my shoulder has been killing me from where I tried to catch myself on the railing. 

Also, I’ve been having headaches and neck pain ever since. I told the guy who hired me what happened and went to the hospital after I finished up work for the day. I thought I would be feeling better by now, but I feel like the pain is not getting any better. 

I went back to the contractor and told him what’s been happening, but he dismissed me. He seems to think I had injuries before I took the job and accused me of shaking him down for holiday cash. I really just want care so I can get back to work again. I also am afraid to go back to the ER or the doctor’s office because I need help to pay medical bills.  Is there anything I can do?


Doomed by Decorations


Dear Doomed by Decorations,

Depending on what kind of labor contract you may or may not have signed, you could be entitled to a work comp claim. However, regardless of whether we are able to pursue a case going that route, we can still bring a claim for premises liability and seek compensation, including to pay medical bills, from the landowner through their homeowner’s insurance.

Whenever you’re on someone else’s property, whether it’s to do work or just to visit, they’re required to provide you with a reasonably safe environment. If they fail to do so, you can file a claim under their liability insurance policy. While many times it may seem like your fault if you fall, it is actually the responsibility of the neighbor who’s porch or driveway you were on to clean it up and clear off the snow and ice for guests and workers like yourself.

Many times, I hear from clients that do not want to sue their friend or take their neighbor to court.  However, this is rarely the case. And oftentimes, they are not even involved in this claim process. Everything is done through our office and the insurance office.  My goal is to keep it as quiet and confidential for you as possible. Importantly, it is always best to get started sooner rather than later, so that they do not try to do what your boss is doing and blame these injuries on something else. Contact me as soon as possible so we can get the ball rolling.


Your Premises Liability Lawyer

Maze Law Offices