Yes, you can sue your ex-husband if you slip and fall at his house. If your ex-husband fails to keep his property in a reasonably safe condition you can certainly file a lawsuit against him like any other defendant. Should you choose to pursue that course of action, consult a family law attorney trusts. If your ex-husband is liable for your slip and fall injuries, his homeowner’s insurance policy may pay the claim for your injuries and damages. Whether it is a good idea to sue your ex-husband may be another story, especially if you and he are co-parenting children and will see one another for years to come.
What is the general law regarding slip and falls?
The general law regarding slip and fall cases is called “premises liability” and involves personal injuries sustained from slips, trips and falls at the property owned or under control of another person. The legal issue is often whether there was a dangerous condition that the owner or occupier knew or had reason to know about, which could reasonably lead to injury.
Is it a good idea to sue your ex-spouse?
As a general rule, you do not make more friends by suing people, especially your ex-husband. Especially if you have children together and must see or communicate with one another with any frequency, additional litigation might make things uncomfortable for everyone. That said, when you have a legitimate injury and damages, you absolutely have the right to seek compensatory damages. Injuries, even from minor slip and fall accidents can lead to long term problems. Like injuries sustained in a rear-end collision, a slip and fall can seem not so bad at the time it happens and soon thereafter you might have nerve and muscle pain stemming from all kinds of internal injuries. Chiropractor and hospital bills can be extensive, and you may need to file a lawsuit against the liable party, even it if is your ex-husband.
How may judges and juries react to a suit against a former spouse?
What would you think if you heard your neighbor say they were suing their ex-husband after slipping and falling on their driveway when going to pick up a child after weekend visitation? Would you be surprised if a judge or jury member raised their eyes at your claim? While it may be human nature to be suspect of ex-spouses and their claims against one another, an injury is an injury.
Consider neighbors and dog bite cases and the reality that when a dog bites your neighbor you understand why they make a claim against you for injuries and you anticipate your homeowner’s insurance policy will pay the claim. Similarly, with a slip and fall occurring at the home of an ex-spouse, the injury happens as it would and is not likely purposeful or a function of a vindictive ex. So long as the facts are clear, the injury case should be treated like any other and the status of the defendant being a former spouse should not be at issue.