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If a neighbor hurts himself on my property while being intoxicated, can he or his home owners insurence sue me?

Gilbert, AZ |

He fell off a ladder from about 4 feet off the ground and broke his leg. He fell because he was intoxicated.

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Attorney answers 5


A person can sue for almost any reason. I think your question is whether or not he would be able to recover. This is a very fact specific question and you will need to contact an attorney. The first question here is why your neighbnor was on the property. Was he invited? did he come on his own? The facts of this change the duty that you had. Further did you provide the alcohol? Why was he on the ladder? DId you ask your neighbor to help you with a job around the house? Was the ladder poorly maintained?

His intoxication may be a defense, as would be an open and obvious danger. You should consult an attorney on this.

Additionally, if you have homeowners insurance yourself, you should be able to breathe easier as it is likely that that your insurance company should provide coverage, and if you are sued should provide an attorney who can defend you.


As mentioned by Mr. Shafer, your neighbor can certainly sue but you should be more concerned about whether he can actually be successful in that lawsuit. The important thing to take away from all answers that you receive is that you should immediately contact your insurance company, give a full and accurate statement of what took place, and then sit back and let them do their job. They will investigate the claim, determine liability, and hire a lawyer to represent you if necessary. This is why we purchase insurance.

Good luck.

The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.


He may be able to sue you, but will have a difficult time winning. Report the claim to your insurance company right away. The insurance company is probably required to provide a defense to you and to pay a legitimate claim. Report to your insurance company.

If you don't have insurance or if you believe your insurance company is not handling the claim appropriately, you might want to consult with an experienced lawyer to assist you.

I hope this helps. Good luck.


You can sue a ham sandwich, as they say. If you are sued, simply report it to your homeowners insurance carrier to resolve.


Can your neighbor sue you? YES. Would he win? That's another question altogether. Based on the few facts presented, it doesn't sound very likely. His owner homeowner's insurance wouldn't be involved under these facts. If you have homeowner's insurance, they would investigate any claim submitted by your neighbor and they would deny it if they thought it was groundless. If your neighbor sues you, your homeowner's insurance would hire a lawyer to defend you, at no cost to you. In order for your neighbor to collect under your liability policy he would need to prove that you were negligent.

If you have medical payments coverage ('med pay') on your policy that may provide for payment of some of his medical bills without having to prove any negligence on your part. That is usually a small coverage (for example, $1,000 or $5,000). If you neighbor makes any claim against you, talk to your insurance agent. Bruce Squire (also a Gilbert resident)

This answer is for general education purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship nor is it intended to provide legal advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.