Are Slip and Fall Injuries Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are a common cause of serious injuries and emergency room visits in California. A slip and fall can happen anywhere, from a grocery store to a friend’s house. It can leave you with expensive hospital bills and other losses, such as lost income. Determining who is financially responsible for your injury – and whether it is covered by homeowners insurance – may take assistance from a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer.
What Type of Insurance Does the Property Owner Have?
Slip and fall injuries lead to a type of personal injury lawsuit known as a premises liability claim. Premises liability holds property owners legally responsible, or liable, for preventable accidents that take place on their properties. One of the first steps in determining if you have the ability to file a premises liability claim is finding out if the property owner has insurance.
After your slip and fall accident, ask the property owner if he or she has a current homeowners or renters insurance policy. Ask for the name of the company and the policy number, if available. This type of insurance will cover slip and fall injuries, as well as other preventable accidents that take place on the owner’s property.
Most homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for injuries to visitors in the form of liability insurance. In California, most insurance companies offer a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. This part of the policy will cover medical expenses related to an accident, as well as legal expenses if you file a liability lawsuit against the homeowner.
Can You Prove Negligence?
Once you have confirmed that the property owner has insurance, file your claim. Fill out the required paperwork and submit any evidence available, such as photographs of your injuries, surveillance footage of your fall, eyewitness statements and an accident report. The insurance company may also request copies of your medical records. The insurance company will investigate your slip and fall accident to determine if its policyholder is liable.
In general, to hold a property owner responsible for a slip and fall accident during a premises liability claim, you or your attorney must prove five elements to the insurance company:
- You were not trespassing at the time of your accident; you were lawfully on the owner’s private property or public property.
- The property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the property defect that caused your slip and fall accident.
- The property owner carelessly or intentionally failed to remedy the defect when a reasonable property owner would have.
- The property owner’s failure to properly maintain his or her premises was the proximate (main) cause of your slip and fall accident.
- You suffered compensable losses or damages in the slip and fall accident, such as physical injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
These are the elements of negligence. In personal injury law, negligence is a preventable error or mistake that causes injury or harm to another person, such as a visitor on a property. For the most part, a property owner’s homeowners insurance company will only pay for your medical bills and losses if you can prove that the homeowner negligently contributed to your accident. You may need an attorney to help you collect and submit evidence to support your claim.
Holding a Homeowner Liable for Injuries
Obtaining financial compensation for a slip and fall injury in Los Angeles may take negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster or even filing a premises liability lawsuit. It is your responsibility as the injured victim to gather evidence, prove the property owner’s negligence and go up against an insurance company in pursuit of a fair financial recovery.
The best way to handle a premises liability case is by hiring an attorney to represent you. An experienced premises liability lawyer in Los Angeles can handle the insurance process while you concentrate on healing from your injuries. If the homeowner’s insurance company denies coverage or does not offer a fair settlement, your attorney can go to trial to fight for a fair outcome instead.