Homeowner’s insurance (or the lack thereof) will have immense implications for your slip and fall claim. The primary question is whether the owner of the home where you fell has homeowner’s insurance.
Other questions to consider are which insurer provides the homeowner’s insurance and the coverage limits. These questions may determine how difficult it is to get the compensation you deserve and how much money you may recover through insurance. Connect with a slip-and-fall accident lawyer for legal guidance.
Why Does a Homeowner’s Insurance Matter When I Slip and Fall on Their Property?
First, we will assume that you are seeking, or plan to seek, compensation for medical bills and other damages resulting from your fall.
Some specific points of consideration for a slip-and-fall accident victim injured in a domestic setting include:
Does the Homeowner Have Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is not a legal requirement, though a bank may require it as a condition of a mortgage. However, any advisor worth their fee will strongly encourage a homeowner to purchase homeowners insurance.
Your slip and fall accident is a prime example of why most homeowners have insurance.
However, some homeowners lack insurance because:
- To save money
- They recently moved into the home and have not yet purchased homeowner’s insurance
- Their homeowner’s insurance policy lapsed without their knowledge
- No one advised or required them to purchase homeowners insurance
Standard renter’s insurance policies also provide substantial liability coverage for the renter. Therefore, you may need to deal with an insurance company if your slip and fall accident happens on a rented property.
Does the Homeowner’s Policy Provide Liability Coverage for Slip and Fall Accidents?
While policyholders have some leeway to adjust their coverages and limits, standard homeowner’s policies almost always cover liability for injuries suffered by third parties. Whether you visited the property where you fell as a friend, neighbor, employee, or in another capacity, a homeowners insurance policy may cover your injury.
A homeowners policy protects the policyholder from lawsuits from fall victims and other injured parties. This means the insurance company will negotiate with injured parties (or their attorneys) and cover injury-related losses.
However, in some cases, a homeowner may face a lawsuit despite their homeowners policy. Your attorney can discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit if necessary.
What Are Coverage Limits on the Insurance Policy?
Most homeowners insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. While this may seem like substantial protection, the fact that this is the standard minimum coverage reflects how costly falls and other accidents can be.
Many homeowners purchase additional liability coverage, with increments of $300,000 and $500,000 being fairly standard.
Homeowners may increase their liability coverage limits because:
- They recognize that having third parties on their property is inevitable, with home maintenance workers, lawn care professionals, friends, neighbors, and family being among those who will inevitably enter the property.
- They realize that they are not perfect and that slipping hazards, tripping hazards, dangerous work, dangerous items in the home (like old furniture), and other hazards will inevitably pose a danger to third parties.
- They want to avoid personal liability if an accident on their property causes losses exceeding the homeowner’s policy’s coverage limits.
Having insurance with high coverage limits is a prudent decision. High coverage limits don’t just protect the homeowner from facing personal liability. These coverage limits also protect victims of accidents like you, who suffered injuries through no fault of their own.
Which Insurer Issued the Homeowners Insurance Policy?
The insurer (or specific insurance representative handling your claim) may affect your claim because:
- Some insurers may fight harder than others to avoid paying third-party homeowners insurance claims
- Some insurance representatives may be more or less honest than others, which may affect how they process claims
Your attorney may have prior experience dealing with specific insurers, too.
Insurance is key when you suffer a slip and fall accident on private property, specifically someone’s home. However, you can let a slip and fall lawyer worry about all insurance-related concerns this is what they do for a living.
What Types of Fall-Related Damages Should a Homeowners Policy Provide Compensation For?
Though insurance generally covers medical expenses and property damage, your attorney will consider the entire scope of your damages. Your lawyer can determine whether a lawsuit is necessary by identifying and valuing every form of harm from your fall.
Damages from a fall may include:
Medical bills are often the most costly and obvious damage from falls.
Fall-related injuries can cost you thousands of dollars, as they may require notoriously expensive:
- Emergency ambulance transport
- Emergency department care
- Multiple doctors visits
- A medication regimen
- Other medical services
The medical industry imposes great costs on its patients. An attorney will work hard so you don’t bear any fall-related medical costs.
You may face additional costs for rehabilitation. Your lawyer will seek compensation for rehab and rehab-related expenses (like transportation to your appointments).
Pain and Suffering
Injuries caused by falls can cause severe pain and suffering, which may include:
- Acute pain
- Chronic pain
- Psychological distress (which may result from pain, physical confinement, inability to work, and other harm related to your fall)
- Emotional anguish
- Lost quality of life
Every fall victim has a different psychological and emotional response, and every injury differs. Injury lawyers work with mental health professionals to evaluate and value pain and suffering.
Fall victims without guaranteed salaries may suffer significant financial harm because of their injuries.
Even those with guaranteed salaries may lose:
- Performance bonuses
- Promotion opportunities
- Earning power
- Professional status and job offers
- Fulfillment they achieve from working
These are damages that slip and fall lawyers factor into settlement calculations.
If your phone, clothing, or any other property sustained damage during your fall, your lawyer may seek compensation covering such damages. You can recover compensation for medical equipment, a vehicle that accommodates a disability, changes to your home, or any other property-related expenses.
A Wrongful Death
Falls are the second-leading cause of death in homes. If your loved one passed away from fall-related injuries, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. A slip and fall lawyer will identify your recoverable damages and fight for justice for your tragic loss.
What Happens if the Homeowner Lacks Insurance?
Suppose the homeowner whose property you slipped and fell on has no homeowners insurance policy (or any other applicable insurance). In that case, your only choice may be to sue them personally.
You should not have to pay out of your pocket for your fall-related damages, and by foregoing insurance, the homeowner may force your attorney’s hand into filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will oversee this process, which can be complex and slow to resolve. However, the result of a lawsuit is often worth the effort and wait.
Homeowners Insurance Protects the Policyholder From Liability
Negligence occurs when someone fails to take actions that a liable person should take in the same circumstances.
In slip and fall accidents on a domestic property, negligence may include:
- Allowing a garden hose to run or leak near a walkway
- Allowing sprinklers or pipes to run or leak in walkways
- Having slick walking surfaces next to a pool, pond, or other areas where water is likely to travel from
- Installing slick walking surfaces, period
- Failing to install adequate lighting
- Failing to clean spills promptly
- Failing to replace or repair loose carpet or other defective floorings
In countless ways, a homeowner’s negligence may expose others to an unreasonable risk of slipping and falling.
Negligence Is Not Malicious, but It Is Grounds for a Claim or Lawsuit
Negligence does not mean that a homeowner intended to cause your fall.
However, when a homeowner fails to take measures to identify and remove slipping hazards, you can hold them responsible. A negligent homeowner or renter gives victims grounds for insurance claims and lawsuits.
A Claim or Lawsuit Tries to Fair Compensation, Not Punish the Homeowner
In the vast majority of cases, homeowners do not want harm to come to anyone who steps foot on their property. Most homeowners even put forth a good-faith effort to protect workers, friends, and others who they invite onto their property. These homeowners may even look specifically for slipping hazards and actively remove them.
However, even when homeowners work to remove hazards, their homes can contain dangers. This is why homeowners insurance and the civil justice system exist to address the harm from slipping hazards.
As a fall victim, you deserve fair compensation. The matter is really that simple. A slip and fall lawyer will work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve, whether through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me After an Accident?
You want to hire a slip and fall accident attorney because:
- You suffered an injury: As an injured person, you may not be working or even managing the most basic daily responsibilities. Therefore, it may be unreasonable and detrimental to your health to try and manage an insurance claim or lawsuit.
- You’re psychologically overloaded: Falls don’t only cause physical pain. Your fall may also have caused psychological pain. Furthermore, you may be stressed as you cannot work or manage your usual responsibilities. If you try to manage your claim or lawsuit, your stress level may rise even further.
- Lawyers offer experience, financial resources, and knowledge you lack: Lawyers regularly fight for fall victims. A qualified slip and fall lawyer will cover the cost of your case, manage every detail of your claim or lawsuit, and work with a team of paralegals, investigators, and experts.
You deserve fair compensation, and you don’t have to fight for it on your own. Slip and fall attorneys make their living by getting justice for victims of negligence. Let an attorney take your case off your hands so you can focus on recovery.
Services Slip and Fall Lawyers Provide in Slip and Fall Cases
The right lawyers provide a wide range of valuable services.
Your attorney may complete your case by:
- Managing all case-related communications and paperwork
- Obtaining all relevant evidence
- Documenting your damages
- Calculating a fair settlement value
- Representing you in settlement negotiations
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
An attorney may even ensure you get proper medical care and help you in other ways. Personal injury firms require no upfront payment and only receive a fee if you get compensation. You face no direct financial risk when you hire a lawyer to lead your slip and fall case.
Don’t Wait to Find and Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer You Trust with Your Case
A lawyer will protect and advise you throughout the claims process. If you file a lawsuit, your attorney will handle that process from start to finish. The firm will update you at every turn of your case.
Research and speak with personal injury firms in New Port Richey. Don’t wait to hire a lawyer, as they may face a deadline for filing your case. Evidence grows more difficult to obtain as time passes, and you even risk losing your rights to compensation if you wait too long. Consult an attorney now.