Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a Slip & Fall?
Many people think of slip and fall accidents happening only in stores. But falls are a surprisingly common injury on private property, and any visitor could slip and fall on a driveway, walkway, or staircase, suffering serious injuries in the process.
Fortunately, homeowners’ insurance will cover a slip and fall accident on private property. However, obtaining compensation might be more of a challenge than you are expecting, so contact a Delray Beach premises liability lawyer for help getting what you are entitled to.
Find Out if the Property Owner Has Insurance
Florida doesn’t require that all homeowners have insurance. Typically, a mortgage lender will require it to protect their collateral (i.e., the home). But some owners have already paid off the mortgage, in which case they might choose to go without coverage. Following the slip and fall, ask the property owner if they have a policy.
Remember that if a home is part of a homeowner’s association, then the HA could have insurance that covers an accident as well. Ask the HA for insurance information if you were hurt.
A homeowner’s insurance policy is a type of liability coverage. It will only kick in and cover a loss if the policyholder was negligent. In this way, homeowner’s is the exact opposite of car insurance in Florida, which is currently no-fault. In other words, you’ll only be able to make a successful claim on a homeowner’s policy if the owner was negligent and this negligence injured you.
Document the hazard that caused you to trip or slip. There might have been spilled liquids or worn carpet treads or trash could have been on the stairwell. Any hazard that the owner created could qualify.
Failure to correct naturally-occurring hazards might also qualify as negligence. For example, a tropical storm could strip wet leaves from trees, and you slip on one. If the leaves were on the ground for days or weeks, then the owner should have cleaned them up.
An attorney can help analyze negligence. A property owner’s duties are rarely “black and white.” But they still must keep the property safe for people who stop over.
Dealing with Resistant Homeowners
Some homeowners might try to dissuade you from making a claim on their insurance because they are afraid it will be cancelled. This is a legitimate concern. Some insurance companies will refuse to renew coverage after too many claims.
Of course, you aren’t obligated to report the accident to the insurer if the owner is willing to make a fair settlement. Unfortunately, a different situation often arises: the homeowner doesn’t want you to report the accident but, at the same time, doesn’t want to pay you fair compensation for your injuries. They might not even have access to the funds to pay.
At this point, you need to contact Earnhart Law by calling 561-265-2220. Our Delray Beach premises liability lawyers can step in and protect your rights. Never try to negotiate alone. In reality, you will have two people against you—the homeowner and their insurer. Let us stand by your side during this stressful time.