Can I sue a homeowner for getting hurt on his property? 35 Answers as of September 19, 2012

I was at a party at a residence when a fight broke out. I was hurt but did not need medical attention. The police were called and the party broke up. Can I sue the homeowner for allowing me to be hurt during his party?

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Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
If you suffered no damages there is no case.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/3/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
You can sue anyone; the question is whether or not your suit is viable-will you win? In order to prevail in a lawsuit in this kind of situation you would need to prove that the homeowner was negligent somehow-had some kind of fault-and that his fault caused your injury. If unrelated persons he has invited as guests get into criminal misbehavior that is not his fault injure you, he will probably not be found liable. If on the other hand these persons are well known to the homeowner, have often gotten into this kind of trouble before and he knows about it, and he invited them and furnished them alcohol, there may be a liability question. If your injuries were such that you did not need medical attention, the case may be difficult to pursue because any damage award would be so small.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/3/2011
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
You have no claim unless the homeowner was negligent. I don't see any basis for claiming negligence based on what you've said so far.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/3/2011
The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
Liability is not clear in this case and if you weren't hurt badly enough to require medical attention I predict you will have difficulty obtaining an attorney to take your case. I wouldn't.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/3/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
If you weren't hurt bad enough to need medical attention you wouldn't have provable damages that are significant enough to bring a lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 8/2/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    In NC most judges and juries dont award damages under such circumstances, and you have said you were not hurt enough to require medical attention. I don't think your case would justify paying court costs to file it.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    It all depends on the specific facts. If the homeowner created a dangerous environment and you were an innocent bystander who did not encourage or cause the fight in any way, then the answer is probably "yes," you can seek recovery for your injuries. But be aware that simply having a house guest get out of control does not necessarily make the homeowner liable. He would need to have some notice that the guest was violent, have served too much alcohol to him, or similar negligence. And if you had any role in causing the fight or putting yourself at risk trying to stop it, you may have a hard time convincing a jury that you should be compensated. You could of course sue the person who actually started the fight and injured you, assuming you did not play a role in it
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Only if he was negligent, which means either failing to do something which a reasonable person would do, or in doing something which a reasonable person would not do.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Consult with a plaintiff's personal attorney who should inform you of your litigation rights to sue the homeowner and your livelihood to recover damages for your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    You may present a claim to the homeowner for your actual damages, however, the homeowners insurance company will normally require proof of the injury though witnesses at the party, an evaluation of the seriousness of the injury, hospitalization, doctor visits, necessary operations, days off work, consequential damages and other things based on the type of injury. If your injuries were minimal with no hospitalizations the homeowner may have to pay you instead of the insurer because it is not enough in damages to actually exceed the homeowners deductible. "Direct threats require decisive action."
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    Technically, you can sue the homeowner but it is difficult case from a liability standpoint and since you were not really hurt there is not much to sue for. Hope this answers your questions.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    It depends what homeowner did wrong. You can sue the person who hurt you. However, as you did not need medical attention your damages would be minimal. File in small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    I would not personally take a case like this and waste my time. Your damages are not significant enough to worry about. The costs would outweigh the recovery. You just don't sue people unless you have significant enough damages.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Yes. With certain exceptions, a homeowner can be liable for injuries you sustain on while on his property. Your particular case will depend on the circumstances of the party, his role, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    Generally, a homeowner is responsible for injuries you received while on their premises. However, there are many factors that play an important part in properly evaluating your specific situation. It is important that you speak with an attorney immediately who can properly advise you on what steps you must take in order to preserve your rights - including evidence, applicable statute of limitations and other critical information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No, not unless he hurt you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    If you were not significantly hurt, what are you going to sue for? A homeowner is responsible for his or her negligent actions. How did the homeowner allow you to be hurt? You could sue, but if you have no damages, there is no point in suing. I do not think any attorney would take your case on a contingency basis. You could always sue in small claims court, but you first must make a written demand. You might start there and see of the homeowner will pay you money for getting hurt and for the inconvenience and emotional distress you may have suffered.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    maybe, but if no medical care, very difficult
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Yes, but if you did not need medical attention you will be unable to prove damages.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    You can always sue, the better question is whether you have a decent enough case to sue. Generally, homeowners are not responsible for the actions of their guests. However, if the homeowner had reason to know that this guest was dangerous maybe the homeowner was negligent in inviting him, allowing him to stay or failing to warn you. Also, if the homeowner was serving alcohol to the guest while the guest was visibly intoxicated and that led to the assault, then the homeowner may be held liable.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Maybe. Depends on how fight happened, what you were doing, etc. You should definitely call a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Need more information. For starters, what makes the fight and your injury something that was foreseeable to the owner?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Yes, but sue for what? You weren't hurt. As the plaintiff, you have the burden to prove damages - i.e. that you were injured or that you suffered some form of money losses.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    A key element to being able to sue is your damages. If you were not damaged, regardless of how much at fault the homeowner may or may not have been, you cannot sustain a complaint against the homeowner. You have one year to sue someone if they physically assaulted you and two for garden variety personal injury. Wait to see if you have sustained serious and lasting damage. If you are not seriously damaged, the amount of damages that you could hope to recover, if successful, would not be worth the trouble.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    You can sue for pretty much any reason; however, the question is whether you will be successful. You first have to show where the homeowner knew or should have known that a fight would break out and did nothing to prevent it. Secondly, you have to prove you suffered damages due to the homeowner's negligence. If you had no recorded injuries as noted in medical records, it is difficult to see what damages you suffered as a result. You may wish to call another attorney to see if he/she thinks along the same lines as I.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Paul Vames
    You can always sue. The real question is whether you can win. The question you need to ask yourself is this: What did the homeowner do (or fail to do) which led to my injury? If the homeowner knew that the combatants were likely to fight and did nothing to prevent it, you may possibly have a case. If the homeowner failed to provide proper security, you may have a case. If there was some hazard on the homeowner's property and you were injured due to the hazard because the homeowner failed to repair it, you may have a case. But if some unforeseeable fight broke out with no fault on the part of the homeowner, you face an uphill battle. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    If you did not receive any medical attention you probably don't have a case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, you could sue, however, whether you could win your suit is an entirely different matter, and would be very unlikely (in my opinion) if you were in any way involved in provoking or unnecessarily involving yourself in the altercation which resulted in your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Two comments: A) Liability: these are hard cases. Did the homeowner know that the people in the fight were likely to get into a fight? How many people were there? How long did the fight last? Did the homeowner try and stop it? B) Damages: Unless you have significant physical or emotional (being treated by a health care professional) injuries, you don't have a case worth pursuing (at least not to most lawyers) because it costs money to file and pursue a law suit (court filing fees, deposition costs, etc).
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    No. The combatants can sue and counter-sue each other but if alcohol was involved, you're lucky you didn't have an eye poked out or your ear bitten off. No jury is going to care if you recover money damages for fighting at a party.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
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