Slip-and-fall accidents can lead to devastating injuries, no matter where they happen. These injuries can lead to hefty medical bills, long therapy treatments, and other problems.
If the slip and fall accident happened on a neighbor's property, however, the victim may be able to get compensated through "med pay" or liability coverage. Usually, if the defendant is insured, the victim could get money for their treatment, as long as they can prove the other party's liability.
This page will go through how homeowner's insurance liability coverage works and when victims can seek compensation through a claim.
Can Victims Sue a Property Owner If They Get Injured At Their Home?
Technically, yes. Victims can sue someone if they fall on their property. Now, the victim must be able to prove three elements to hold the other party liable:
There was a considerable hazard on the property.
The owner knew (or should have known) about the hazard.
The owner didn't take any reasonable action to fix the hazard or let the victim know about it.
Another important element of the claim is that the victim must establish whether they were on the property as a customer or a guest. If the victim was on the property as a guest, they could get their homeowner's insurance policy to cover their medical treatment and other bills.
All homeowners are required to keep their property as safe as possible. Some common measures to achieve this include making inspections and doing repairs as soon as possible. In the worst-case scenario, they should at least warn their guests about any dangerous conditions.
Most homeowner's insurance policies offer liability insurance/medical payments coverage. If the owner has this kind of policy, the case may go through much more smoothly. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has more information on landlord liability for slip and fall injuries.
What Types of Damages Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover?
The personal liability coverage for slip-and-fall accidents may vary depending on the insurance company. However, most insurance coverage policies cover the following:
Tripping over broken walkways
Parking lot accidents
Assault and battery
Falling on wet stairs/floors
Falling because of poor lighting
Tripping because of overcrowding
Exposure to toxic chemicals
Falling because of broken escalators, stairs, or railing
In some cases, the insurance adjuster may also pay for injuries that happen outside of the owner's property, such as a dog attack.
It's recommended that victims talk to the property owner about their homeowners' insurance policy (if they have one) and also seek advice from a legal professional. This will help them ensure that they have enough legal grounds to file a slip-and-fall claim.
Can the Property Owner Refuse to Make a Homeowner's Insurance Claim?
In some cases, the property owner may refuse to make the claim to their insurance adjuster because they believe they were not at fault. On the other hand, they may be willing to file a claim, but the coverage limit of the adjuster is too low to address all the damages.
Regardless of what the case is, victims should talk to Nashville slip and fall lawyers to evaluate the next steps. Usually, they'll be able to file a lawsuit to demand compensation even if the owner refuses to cooperate.
How to File Personal Injury Claims Against the Property Owner
The first thing to do is ask the homeowner if they have homeowner's insurance. Since many mortgage companies require people to have this kind of protection when taking a loan, it's possible that they'll have at least basic-level coverage.
If the owner doesn't have insurance, that doesn't mean that the victim can't seek compensation, as explained previously. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on should you file a slip and fall lawsuit.
How do these claims work, though? Most homeowner's insurance policies offer two types of coverage:
"Medical payments coverage" (or Med Pay) helps pay a victim's medical bills if they get injured on someone else's property. The main benefit of this kind of coverage is that the victim doesn't have to prove the other person's liability to get the money.
All the victim has to do is send the medical bills to the insurance company, and the representative will reimburse them up to the limit of the coverage.
Liability coverage offers extra protection and pays for other damages like pain and suffering. However, the victim must prove that the homeowner was liable for the accident. Falling on someone's home doesn't necessarily mean the owner was negligent or reckless.
Regardless of what the case is, victims should follow these steps to get a higher chance of reaching a fair settlement:
Document the fall through photos and videos. The victim should be able to prove what caused it.
Report the claim as soon as possible.
Talk to a lawyer to get help while negotiating with the insurance adjusters and preparing the settlement demand letter.
What Damages Can Victims Recover from a Homeowner's Insurance Company?
It depends on the case. Usually, the victim can recover economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include quantifiable things like lost wages, medical expenses, etc. On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to "subjective harms," such as inconvenience or pain and suffering.
The best way to evaluate the potential outcome of the case is to talk to a professional lawyer. They'll be able to go through every detail and come up with a realistic plan of action.
Why Getting Legal Help Is Essential
Dealing with injuries and ongoing medical bills is already stressful. Adding a lawsuit on top of that will be too overwhelming for the victim.
In these cases, victims must get as much help as possible, and that includes seeking legal counsel. Sometimes, victims don't know they're entitled to compensation, so they miss out on reimbursements that could help them move on with their lives after the accident.
Legal experts help victims gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and file a personal injury claim if the homeowner's insurance coverage isn't enough.
Many of the experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are former insurance company workers, meaning they know all the tricks these people use to get victims a lower settlement.
Thanks to this kind of experience, this legal team can help victims get appropriate compensation based on their injuries, as well as get them peace of mind during these hard times. Those interested in learning more about the firm's legal services can schedule a free consultation today.