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Husband fell while cutting down someone elses tree. Does homeowners insurance cover?

Chicago, IL |

This happened in Illinois. My husband was helping his cousin cut down a tree for a homeowner. A cut branch swung the wrong way and knocked my husband off the ladder he was standing on. He fell about 20 feet and landed on both of his feet, shattering his right ankle. Would a homeowners insurance policy cover any medical costs for my husband, since the injury occured on their property?
The homeowner was not home at the time the accident occured. The homeowner also was not aware my husband was the one doing the cutting of the tree as the homeowner had hired my husband's cousin to do the job. My husband's cousin owns a business and a claim was filed with his insurance, however since my Husband was being paid CASH, he was not considered an employee, they denied the claim.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This is a little difficult to answer with the information you have provided; however, it is questionable that the homeowner's insurance would cover this unless the homeowner did something to cause the injury - which it doesn't sound like. There may be a claim against your cousin, his company or his worker's compensation insurance company depending on the facts. Depending on how it occurred there may be a negligence case that could be filed - but again I would need more facts to answer this. Considering your husband's injuries I would strongly suggest he not delay in speaking with an Illinois licensed personal injury attorney.


  2. If you were not using a qualified workers' compensation attorney when the claim with the cousin's company was denied, make contact right away to schedule a consultation to determine what can be done at this time.

    The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended to be informative, but not final. You are advised to arrange a consultation at which all facts and documents can be explored and terms for representation agreed. An attorney-client relationship must be formally established.


  3. With due respect to the other responses, I think your husband's chances are not good. The working for cash is one major problem and that pretty well bars a comp claim. The owner not being there and apparently not directing the means or methods of work takes them out of the chain of people who caused the fall. His only hope might be trying to sue his cousin, but that would require proving that the cousin or one of the other workers actually did something to cause the fall. By that, I mean cutting the branch or moving it, rather than just standing there waiting to clean up the cuttings or watching your husband work. By all means go to a lawyer and talk to him or her, but don't be surprised if this doesn't go the way you'd like it to.

    Please be sure to mark the best answer to your question. My answers are general and do not form an attorney-client relationship. I'm happy to talk to prospective clients in my areas of concentration and geographical location.