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Daily Dilemma- Injured Good Samaritan

Dear Kelly,

My husband was helping a neighbor string up some lights on the tree in her front yard when the ladder he was standing on fell over. He had to go to the hospital and is now in a cast. The neighbor felt terrible about what happened so we thought she would offer to pay our insurance deductible, especially considering the accident occurred while he was trying to help her. Well, we asked her if she wanted to just write us a check now or wait until the bill came in and she acted shocked. She then reminded us that he volunteered to help her, and that she didn't ask, and that the ladder fell over into our yard so he was really injured on our property. Regardless of where the ladder landed, wouldn't she still be responsible?

Sincerely,

Next Year's Scrooge

Dear N.Y.Scrooge,

I'm not a lawyer but common sense would tell me, since the ladder was placed in her yard by her tree when it fell, your husband's injuries would legally be her responsibility. However, considering your insurance company would have to go after her insurance company for your bills to be paid- you may want to consider letting it go. Remember back in the day when accidents happened and no one sued? People fell in grocery stores, at their friend's house, or at a ballgame and never thought for a second to blame someone else for their bad luck. Start a new trend and leave your neighbor out of your bill paying. And, even better, don't let the incident prevent you from being kind and neighborly in the future. Sometimes people just get hurt.

Take care,

Kelly McKay

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