Slip and Fall Claims and Homeowners’ Insurance
Slip and fall incidents can lead to significant injuries, and they are often caused by the negligent actions of a property owner or operator. Sometimes, individuals slip and fall at a person’s home. In these cases, victims may be able to recover compensation through a homeowners’ insurance claim. Here, we want to discuss how these claims work and what you have to prove in order to recover compensation for a slip and fall injury.
Homeowners’ Insurance in California
Just about every individual who has a mortgage in California will also be required to have a homeowners’ insurance policy. This policy covers a wide range of issues that could arise, including injuries that occur to other individuals on the property.
It should be stated that a homeowner will not be held liable for every slip and fall injury that occurs on their property. In order to be responsible for any injury, the homeowner will need to have been negligent in some way, and this negligence must be proven to have caused the injury. For example, if a homeowner knew about a hazard that could cause a slip and fall injury inside their home, such as spilled petroleum, and they failed to remedy the situation or failed to notify guests that came into the home, they may be held liable for an injury that occurs.
However, if a person comes onto a homeowner’s property during a rainstorm and slips on a newly accumulated puddle, it is unlikely that the homeowner would be responsible for this type of slip and fall injury. Additionally, if a person slipped in a person’s home because their own shoe was untied, this does not mean the homeowner is liable. They most likely would not be.
However, even though a homeowners’ insurance policy will typically not cover slip and fall accidents, the insurance carrier will usually have to step in and cover the cost of any legal defense arising out of a lawsuit against the homeowner. Additionally, the homeowners’ insurance carrier will likely have to payout for a claim if the slip and fall lawsuit against the policyholder is eventually successful.
Again, even if a person files a lawsuit, they will still have to prove that the homeowner’s actions were responsible for causing the slip and fall injuries.
How Much Compensation is Available for a Successful Claim?
The vast majority of homeowners’ insurance policies offer at least $100,000 worth of liability insurance, and this is separate from the coverage that pays for structural damage to the home or property. However, depending on the severity of a slip and fall injury, $100,000 may not be enough. In these situations, the injury victim could go after the homeowner’s personal assets if their claim is successful.
We strongly recommend that all homeowners examine their insurance policies and purchase an adequate amount of liability insurance, at least enough commensurate to their total assets. Individuals will typically be more interested in pursuing a liability claim if they know an individual is able to pay, so if a person has decent or considerable wealth, they should consider purchasing a larger liability insurance policy as part of their homeowners’ insurance policy. Additionally, individuals with more exposure, including those with swimming pools or very large properties where individuals typically gather, should also consider purchasing higher liability limits.