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Can you file a claim if you get injured on a friend's property?

If you are visiting a friend's home, chances are you never think of the many ways that you could wind up injured on their property due to a hazardous condition. Yet these type of incidents happen quite frequently and make up a good portion of homeowner liability claims.

Below are some of the most common hazards you might face.

-- Dog bites. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a nonprofit group, in 2012, the average dog-bite claim cost insurers $29,752. The American Insurance Association's vice president of claims administration noted that insurance carriers often exclude certain breeds of dogs considered to be at high risk of biting, such as German Shepherds, Akitas and pit bulls.

-- Accidents in the home. The vice president pointed out that even when people are not invited guests of the homeowners, e.g., salespeople going door-to-door, and they fall on a patch of ice and get a concussion because the homeowner didn't shovel or salt the walkway, the homeowners can be held liable for their injuries.

The same is true inside of the home if a guest trips over a loose piece of carpeting that the resident didn't reattach or tell them to beware of. Even tenants in rental properties can face liabilities for some of their guests' injuries under some circumstances.

-- Trees that fall down onto people or property. If you are visiting a friend and are parked under a tree on their property, and that tree topples over and smashes your car, you can pursue a claim against your friend's homeowner's insurance. Hopefully, you weren't inside of the car when the tree fell, but if you were, your injuries would be covered in the claim as well.

To better understand your rights in a situation, it's a good idea to seek professional legal advice.

Source: Netquote, "What are the 5 most common home insurance liability claims?," Emmet Pierce, accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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