If you slipped and fell on another person’s property, you may assume you can file a claim with the individual’s homeowner’s insurance to get the money you need to cover your injuries and losses. However, this is not how this insurance works. Indeed, you must meet other specific criteria before recovering money from a homeowner’s insurance policy.
To better understand how a homeowner’s insurance can affect your slip and fall claim, read the below post. We discuss how these policies work, what you must show to recover the compensation you need, and how an experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you fight for the justice you deserve.
Homeowner’s Insurance and Slip and Fall Claims
Coverage for a slip and fall accident claim under homeowner’s insurance requires that the homeowner acted negligently. This requirement derives from a homeowner’s duty of care to maintain their land and property. Failing to maintain their property could be considered negligence.
Not every slip and fall incident or unsafe condition means the property owner was negligent. For instance, if the property or homeowner acted reasonably in maintaining the land or property and took precautions against the injury, they may not be liable for the resulting fall and harm. If the owner did not cause the accident, homeowner's insurance will likely not apply.
If you want to successfully recover compensation for a slip and fall on another person’s property, you must prove:
- You were lawfully on another person’s private or public property when the slip and fall accident occurred.
- The property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazardous property condition.
- The property owner failed to fix the condition when a reasonable person would have under the circumstances.
- The property owner’s neglect to maintain the premises caused your injuries, and you suffered significant monetary damages.
The insurance company will likely request evidence and documentation to show negligence, including photos, an accident report, witness statements, and medical records. Following your accident, reach out to an experienced slip and fall attorney. These lawyers can help you take on these complex claims, collect relevant evidence proving fault, and tackle the negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Following a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you show that a homeowner is liable for your slip and fall accident, their homeowner’s insurance coverage may apply. Attorneys must undertake an in-depth policy analysis to determine what the homeowner’s insurance covers.
While most homeowner’s insurance policies contain liability coverage, limitations and exclusions may apply depending on the circumstances of the accident. In addition, the policy may also exclude certain activities that caused the slip and fall accident. Consequently, limitations or exclusions apply, and you cannot obtain compensation from the insurance policy. Instead, you must go after the homeowner for payment for your damages.
Another provision in the insurance policy that may affect your slip and fall claim is medical coverage. Although the policy may help pay for medical bills related to a covered injury, it is often significantly lower than the full medical cost for recovery.
What Happens if the Homeowner Refuses to Make an Insurance Claim?
If a homeowner refuses to cooperate and make an insurance claim following a slip and fall accident, or the insurance company refuses to make good on the claim, you still have options. You may pursue a lawsuit and still go after the monetary damages you deserve. Depending on the circumstances, the homeowner and the insurance company can be appropriate parties to name in the lawsuit.
To determine your legal options, contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer. These attorneys can review the facts of your accident, determine if you have a viable claim, and help you decide on your next steps.
The Financial Damages You Can Pursue in a Lawsuit
If you can pursue a lawsuit following your slip and fall accident, there are different monetary damages you may recover. Typically, these damages divide into the following categories:
These damages refer to compensation for the objectively verifiable losses that result from an accident.
They include losses such as:
- Medical bills related to doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, ambulance rides, and other medical treatments
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Future ongoing medical treatments
- Rehabilitative therapy, including occupational and physical therapy
- Loss of property use
- Cost of replacement or repair of property
- The economic value of domestic services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
These damages refer to payment for subjective, non-monetary losses because of an accident.
They include losses such as:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Limb loss
Depending on the accident circumstances, you may also win punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, which compensate a victim for their injuries following an accident, punitive damages penalize or punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter other individuals from committing this same act.
As a result, these damages are rare and inappropriate for every personal injury claim. In most instances, the court will only award these damages when the victim's lawyer can show clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed grossly negligent or intentional actions.
Consequently, to determine which of these damages you can pursue, reach out to an experienced slip and fall accident attorney. These legal professionals can prepare the strongest legal claim for you so you can go after the maximum compensation you deserve.
The Time Limitations to File a Lawsuit Following a Slip and Fall Accident
Another issue you should remember when filing a lawsuit following a slip and fall accident is the time limitations involved. According to the statute of limitations, individuals have a limited time to pursue legal action. While this statutory period depends on the state where the accident happened, in general, most victims of a slip and fall accident will only have a few years to file a lawsuit. If they do not file within this allotted period, they cannot pursue legal action to recover the compensation they deserve.
Exceptions may apply to the statute of limitations rule that impact your filing period by shortening or extending it. For these reasons, to ensure you can file your lawsuit before time expires, reach out to an experienced slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can promptly review your accident, figure out how much time you have to file your case, and prepare and file your motions and documents before the statute of limitations expires.
Waiting years to file your legal suit may not be wise. Typically, the longer you wait to pursue legal action, the higher the likelihood that evidence will disappear. Memories of the incident will fade, and witnesses may no longer be able to testify. Many factors can impact your case and your ability to secure the compensation you need.
Things You Can Do to Help Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Following a Slip and Fall Accident
While taking action after a slip and fall accident may not be the first thing on your mind, what you do after a slip and fall can protect your health and safety and your legal rights, especially regarding your insurance claim. For these reasons, following a slip and fall accident, consider doing the following:
Call 911 Immediately
Depending on the accident circumstances, call 911 immediately. Not only is this the fastest way to alert medical personnel of the accident, but it is also the quickest way to get the police to the scene and get the accident on record. Once the police arrive, they can perform a preliminary investigation into the incident and document findings in their police report. If you decide you want to pursue legal action or file an insurance claim, the police report can provide details to help your case.
Get Medical Treatment
Regardless of your injuries, seek medical care. By not getting medical treatment after a slip and fall accident, the insurance company may use this as an opportunity to argue that your injuries are not that serious or a result of a separate event. Thankfully, when you see a medical professional after your accident, they can provide you with a medical report that details the extent of your injuries and links the slip and fall accident to the trauma you suffered.
Collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible. This evidence should include photos and videos of the hazardous condition that caused your slip and fall accident, your visible injuries, and any other details that show what happened.
If you cannot gather this evidence because of the severity of your injuries, do not worry. Once you retain an experienced legal professional, these attorneys can gather this evidence on your behalf and present it to the insurance company as evidence of fault and damages.
Work With an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney and Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
The last thing you want to worry about after a slip and fall accident is securing the money you need to cover your medical bills and other losses. Unfortunately, getting this money is not always as straightforward as many hope. The insurance company will likely try to play hardball with your claim to prevent you from getting the money you require, and bringing a lawsuit alone can be a tedious and complex undertaking.
Fortunately, when you retain an experienced slip and fall accident attorney, you can get the legal help you need to pursue financial recovery.
Once hired, your lawyers can:
- Determine if you have a viable claim and your legal options.
- Analyze your accident and try to secure the evidence necessary to prove what happened, who was at fault, and the severity of your damages.
- Bring in the experts to validate your claim.
- Handle the settlement negotiations and pursue a fair settlement amount.
- Proceed to trial if the other side is unwilling to provide you with the money you need and fight for the maximum damages you deserve.
If you are dealing with a homeowner’s insurance claim following your slip and fall accident, or do not know where to start with this process, contact an experienced slip and fall attorney for a free consultation and find out how these lawyers can help you fight for your rights.