My child got badly hurt while visiting her friend’s house. Should I file an insurance claim against my neighbor? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

This is a personal decision that depends on the severity of your daughter’s injury, the cost of her medical care, the available insurance coverage, and the type of accident that caused the injury. You may even want to take your relationship with the other family into consideration, but you should keep in mind that you will be dealing with the insurance company rather than with your friend or acquaintance directly if the friend has homeowners insurance. Speaking with a caring Virginia personal injury attorney will help you weigh your options.

Strictly from a legal standpoint, you have the right to file an insurance claim if the homeowner or occupant caused the accident, allowed it happen, or failed to warn of the danger. A legal principle called premises liability makes homeowners, renters and, in some circumstances, landlords responsible for protecting the health and safety of guests. This duty extends to supervising children at play, keep the yard and residence in good repair, controlling pets and minimizing access to dangerous items, including uncovered pools.