If someone experiences a slip-and-fall on a neighbor’s property, they may file a slip-and-fall claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy. It is important to understand how an individual’s homeowner insurance policy will affect a slip-and-fall claim. Here, personal injury attorney Douglas C. Lauenstein explains how slip-and-fall claims are impacted by homeowner’s insurance policies.
Most Homeowner Insurance Policies Have Two Types of Coverage
Because mortgage providers require borrowers to have homeowner’s insurance, the vast majority of homeowners have it. Those who have paid off their mortgage; however, may not possess homeowner’s insurance.
For those who do possess homeowner’s insurance, it usually provides two types of coverage: liability and medical coverage. Liability coverage protects the homeowner if someone is injured on their property, and usually covers up to $100,000 or more in damages. If the damages exceed the homeowner’s liability coverage, then the homeowner can be personally responsible for the excess damages. Liability coverage will only cover damages sustained by an individual if those damages are the result of the homeowner’s negligence. For example, the homeowner failed to maintain their property to a reasonably safe level.
Medical coverage pays a limited amount of medical bills—often covering approximately $5,000-$10,000 in damages—regardless of who is at fault for the injuries. Medical bills may simply be submitted to the insurance adjuster as they are accrued, up to the limit of the policy.
There is No Registry for Homeowner’s Insurance
There is no public record available that details who possesses homeowner’s insurance—instead, the only way to know if an individual has homeowner’s insurance is to ask them. Because some insurance companies will cancel coverage for a homeowner when a claim is filed against them, homeowners may not wish to provide information about their insurance policy. Most of the time when a homeowner receives a letter from the injured person’s attorney they will give up the insurance company information. Sometimes, if a homeowner absolutely refuses to give you the insurance information, the only legal recourse in such a case is to sue the homeowner. In a lawsuit the homeowner is required to provide your attorney with the insurance policy information.
Homeowner Insurance Claims are Similar to Automobile Insurance Claims
As with an automobile insurance claim, once the incident is reported to the insurance company, an adjuster will be assigned to the claim, so it may be investigated. The adjuster will contact both the homeowner and the injured party to ascertain what took place and may ask the injured party for a recorded statement regarding the incident. It is not advisable to provide a recorded statement without first consulting an experienced personal injury attorney, as such a statement has the potential to seriously impact your settlement. Please contact an attorney before reporting your claim to the insurance company.
The adjuster will require your medical bills and records as your treatment progresses—if you must take a leave of absence from work, they will want a record of your lost wages as well. Once your medical treatment is completed, the adjuster will attempt to settle the claim. If you and the adjuster are unable to come to an agreement regarding the value of the settlement, you and your personal injury attorney will need to file a lawsuit against the homeowner to receive a more appropriate settlement.
A Personal Injury Attorney Effectively Handle Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
As a business, a homeowner’s insurance company does not have the best interest of personal injury victims in mind and will attempt to settle a personal injury case without considering a victim’s actual damages. If you have sustained injuries on the property of another due to the homeowner’s negligence, you deserve just compensation and a dedicated advocate to fight for your rights. Personal injury attorney, Douglas C. Lauenstein, has years of experience helping personal injury victims file homeowner’s insurance claims and receive the compensation they need after traumatic incidents. If you or a loved one has suffered injury on another’s property, contact us today for a free consultation.