Jacksonville, FL asked in Personal Injury and Insurance Defense for Florida

Q: Over 2 years ago my daughter had a friend over and they explored the attic even though told not to. Friend fell.

The friend fell through some dry wall. No injury claimed then but now mother of friend wants our insurance info from that time to file a claim. What should we do to protect ourselves? This is in Florida.

2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Contact your insurance company, tell them about it, and ask what you should do. They will probably assign an adjuster to investigate and determine what the mother is claiming. If the mother files a lawsuit, the insurance company is required to hire an attorney to defend you.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I agree with Mr. Thorgaard, but you should also inquire, in a friendly way, as to what the injury issue is. Was she physically injured, and if so, what are the injuries, medical diagnoses and treatment, and at which medical offices? And why is the issue surfacing only after 2 years? And is there a particular dollar figure they are seeking, and if so, what is the basis for that figure? You have the option of hiring an attorney to communicate, but your insurance company will give you a free attorney if you are sued (assuming you have the coverage).

Regarding the request for your insurance info, you don't have to provide that unless you receive a written request - see Fla. Statutes Sec. 627.4137 (which you can find online). If you do receive a written request, you must provide the insurance co. name and coverage (for example, "liability coverage up to $500,000") and forward the request to your insurance company. By the way, your insurance company, if it desires, at renewal time can increase your premium or decline to renew because of the claim. Therefore, if the injured party gives you a dollar figure that's peanuts, you may want to settle up without getting your insurance co. involved - but if you settle, you'll need a valid executed release to prevent her from suing you for more.

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