Can we be sued if our neighbor initiated the fight? How? 16 Answers as of June 03, 2015

My son acted in self defense when our neighbor attacked him and they were both hurt. But our neighbor was hospitalized. The police report even says that he initiated it and that my son responded. Could this still be a personal injury case? The neighbor says that he is going to sue us, how do we respond?

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Utah Injury Lawyer
Utah Injury Lawyer | Will Rodgers
It appears you may have a case where you can sue your neighbor for initiating a fight by attacking your son and injuring him. For your own benefit, immediately contact an injury lawyer to evaluate your case and if taken, represent you in the case without any money coming from you. The reality is insurance companies jerk people around who are not injury lawyers. As injury lawyers, we represent our clients and help them get their healthcare bills paid and get the best financial compensation they can get on their case.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/2/2015
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Check to see if your homeowner's insurance has liability coverage, and if so make a report.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/1/2015
Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
This is a situation where it appears that both sides could, can and will sue the other, especially if the other sues. so, to answer your question if the police report says what you say it does then the officer, after interviewing everybody, came to the conclusion you say it did. Now that is good for your position except for one little bit of evidence law. The office can testify to his the investigation but will probably not be allowed to testify what other witnesses besides the combatants said because that is hearsay. He also probably will not be allowed to say who he believed, i.e. who was instigator and who defended. So, if your son was not injured and it appears that the other person suffered a documented injury, you should await to see if the other side sues your son. At this point, I would refrain from any incendiary discussion with the neighbor except maybe to express dismay that an altercation occurred. Lawyers will love this case because I can't imagine any taking it because I would charge a regular hourly fee to represent either side.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 6/3/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
First, why should you respond at all to your neighbor's threats? It sounds like he is aggressive and nasty, and probably his bark is worse than his bite. If he should sue you and it is easy enough to start a lawsuit; it's just sometimes hard to win one then you would do well to retain an experienced lawyer to advise and represent you. On these facts, he should not prevail. But please keep in mind that there are likely lots more facts which will come out in time.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/3/2015
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
You need to retain an attorney. While the neighbor may have started the fight, only reasonable force may be used to protect oneself. If the opportunity was present to leave the scene that must be taken. At worst case this is a comparative fault case where both parties are at fault. The degree of fault is determined by the court.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/3/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Technically, if your kid used more force than necessary, HE could have some responsibility. The bigger issue is that since the physical fight is considered an intentional act, your homeowner's insurance would probably not cover it, nor would it provide you with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    Usually you would either sit down with the neighbor and try and resolve the dispute and/or wait to see if a suit is filed. If suit is filed and you are served with the suit papers, turn them over to your homeowners insurer and let them defend the claim. If they tell you they won't defend and/or are seeking Declaratory Relief as to whether they have a duty to defend the claim (insurers don't cover "intentional" acts, which they usually claim "fighting" to be) then you will need to seek personal counsel. If the insurer defends, they pay the attorney. If they don't and you hire personal counsel, you pay the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    The Gufford Law Firm, P.A.
    The Gufford Law Firm, P.A. | Joseph Gufford
    Notify your homeowners insurance carrier immediately. They should provide a defense to any claims based upon negligence, including providing you with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    He attacked your son with his fists, your son responded in kind, and your son won the fight. Now he's threatening to fight you with lawyers. If he does, then respond in kind and win that fight too.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    Hire an attorney. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. A lawyer will review your case and communicate to the other party why (s)he should not sue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    If your son used more force to defend himself from harm than was necessary [neighbor hits him, then backs off, your son advances and hits him], then he has some liability. If he did not have to hit the neighbor to protect himself, then he is responsible for the neighbor's injuries, but the neighbor is liability for an assault and battery. Check to see if your home owner's or renter's insurance protects him and you [you do not say how old them are]. Normally their is no coverage for intentional acts, but any claim against you would probably be based upon negligence so you might be covered. Tell the neighbor what did he expect from starting a fight and that if he sues your son will sue him.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    By counseling an attorney and preparing a plan and defense in dealing with the authorities and you neighbor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Anyone can sue anyone. Based on the facts as you describe them your son will win. If you have homeowners insurance they will defend you in these matters most of the time.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    You son should not be liable based on what you have described unless for some reason he injured the neighbor as an aggressor and not in self defense. If he gets sued or a claim is made, turn the matter over to your homeowners insurance company and let them handle it. They will provide a defense and pay any judgment or settlement up to the limits of the policy. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    He can sue you but that doesn't mean that he will win. If you have homeowners insurance, notify them and they will take care of it; if not and you are sued, hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    Yes, if your son was injured and when to seen by a doctor. Does you neighbor have any assets? Home, car, job?
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/3/2015
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