If you have slipped and fallen in a neighbor’s home and were injured as a result, you may have some questions about your personal injury claim. Let’s take a look at the issues that may affect your claim so you understand how you may be affected:
If you decide to file a personal injury claim you will be asked if the homeowner had insurance. Most homeowners do have insurance, particularly as their mortgage company requires them to. However, if the owner of the property owns it outright (In other words there is no mortgage to pay), they may not have home insurance. Unfortunately, the only way you’ll ever know if the homeowner has insurance is if you ask them.
Inform the Insurance Company
Ask the homeowner who supplies their insurance, and do it quickly, especially if the accident is a particularly bad one. Once you know who supplies the insurance tell the insurers about your accident as soon as you can. The sooner you report your accident, the better. If you wait a long time before you inform the company they may consider your claim to be a false one.
If the Homeowner doesn’t want to Involve Their Insurer
If the homeowner does not provide you with the name of their insurer you may have no other choice but to sue them and demand that they give you the information. Some insurance companies do not like paying out premiums, even though that is primarily what they are in the market for. In fact, some insurers will even go so far as canceling insurance cover even if the homeowner has never made a claim before. It is then unsurprising that some homeowners will try to manage the claim themselves, rather than relying on their insurance company.
Making a Claim
Once you have reported your claim to the insurance company an insurance adjuster will then be assigned to your case. The adjuster will contact the homeowner and attempt to get their side of the story. Once the adjuster has spoken to the homeowner they will contact the injured party to get their side of the story.
During the conversation with the injured party, the insurance adjuster will ask for a recorded statement. The statement will include details about the accident. If you have a lawyer you may wish to speak to them before you give a statement. If you do not have a lawyer you should not give a recorded statement regardless of the methods the adjuster uses to convince you to do so. Please note that if you don’t have a lawyer and you decide to give a statement you may not get the monetary award you want, in fact, you may not get anything at all.
The insurance adjuster will ask for your medical records and a copy of the bills you receive for any medical treatment you may have had, they will also want documentation that supports any loss of earnings. Once your medical treatment has been completed the insurance adjuster will try to settle the claim. If you are unable to settle the claim you will need to file a lawsuit against the homeowner. Filing a lawsuit against the homeowner may help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Paying your Medical Bills
Often called ‘Med pay’, homeowners’ insurance usually includes a medical payment coverage. This coverage pays a specific amount of the injured party’s medical bills, regardless of whether the homeowner was found to be negligent. Many homeowners have between $5,000 and $10,000 of medical payment coverage, and this type of coverage will pay the injured party’s bills on a regular and on-going basis.
Negligence and Liability
A homeowner may only be liable for your accident if they were negligent, and their negligence is what caused the accident. A fall or a slip is not necessarily a result of negligence. If you had slipped or fallen as a result of their negligence then and only then can you claim that they are liable.
The portion of homeowners’ insurance that covers liability only covers damages if the homeowner has been found negligent. For example, if you dropped some grapes on their wood floor, failed to pick them up and slipped and fell on the grapes the homeowner would not be found liable. This means that you would not receive any money from the homeowners’ liability coverage.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents on Residential Properties
Some of the most common types of slips and falls accidents on residential properties include:
– Accidents on Carpets, the Floor, or on Rugs
Accidents can be caused by:
– Rugs without a proper grip pad
– Carpets and rugs with holes in them
– Carpets that have become frayed at the edges
– Ceilings that have been leaking
– Floors that are wet
– Floors that have recently been waxed
– Accidents on a Staircase
Accidents on a staircase can be caused by:
– The varying height of steps
– A foreign substance that was on the stairs
– A poorly placed rug or carpet on the stairs
– The lack of hand rails
– Poorly designed hand rails
– Shallow steps
If you have slipped and fallen in a neighbors home and were injured as a result, you should ask the homeowner who supplies their insurance, especially if the accident is a particularly bad one. Filing a claim against the insurance company may help you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you currently are suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘Slipping and Falling in a Neighbors House: How Homeowners’ Insurance Affects a Claim’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.