Most slip and fall accidents in residential homes involve tripping or slipping on carpets, rugs, or the floor; slipping or tripping on stairs; or slipping or tripping on ice, snow, or sidewalks. While in most cases a homeowner may be held liable for an accident that happened on his property, there are exceptions where he is not held accountable. For instance, if a person loses his balance randomly and falls, the homeowner is not liable.
As a homeowner, you’re not always responsible for every slippery or other unsafe conditions on your property. Simply because someone fell on your property and got hurt doesn’t mean that you were negligent. The condition that caused the accident has to be unreasonably unsafe in order for you to compensate the claimant. Keep reading to learn more about the nature of slip and fall claims.
When Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a Slip and Fall Accident?
If someone is injured on your property, your insurer should cover any injury claim filed if found legitimate. Homeowner’s insurance policy generally has two separate types of coverages, namely liability coverage and medical payment coverage. The liability coverage takes care of all losses associated with the injury, while the medpay coverage pays for the medical bill.
Remember that there must have been some negligence on your part as a homeowner in order for liability coverage to kick in. Your insurer may start taking actions if the slip and fall accident was a result of one of the following:
- Wet floors
- Leaking ceilings
- Carpets with holes in them
- Stairs with a foreign substance
- Stairs with shallow steps
- Carpets with frayed edges
- Stairs without handrails or are poorly designed
- Risers of varying heights or wrong height
- Poorly placed rugs or carpets on the stairs
As a homeowner, you must act reasonably to keep your property in a reasonable state of repair.
What To Do If a Slip and Fall Claim Is Filed Against You
If someone is injured on your property and files a claim through your insurance company, then the first action that you should take is to cooperate with your insurer’s adjusters as they investigate the case. Be sure to as honest as you can and provide accurate information as to what condition caused the accident, how and where the mishap occurred, if or when you became aware of the accident, and so on. After it has been determined that injuries sustained were a result of your negligence, the adjuster will go ahead to determine whether your homeowner’s insurance can cover those injury claims.
Your insurer should be able to cover you as much as your intention wasn’t malicious, or you didn’t purposely cause the slip and fall accident. Where the slip and fall case seem to go in favor of the plaintiff, your insurance company may try to pursue an outside-the-court settlement. However, if the case proceeds to court, your insurer should be able to pay for all expenses that you’ll incur, including the settlement determined by the court for a lost case.
If your insurance company is dragging its heels on your case, or it’s trying to deny coverage for legitimate slip and fall call claims, it may be time to hire a personal injury attorney. A reputable law firm may be able to help you get what is rightfully yours.