Sometimes, slip and fall accidents occur on a homeowner’s premises. When that happens, the homeowner’s insurance policy may come into play and provide the necessary coverage for the accident victim’s injuries and other losses. The policy coverage will play a significant role in the types and amounts of monetary damages an accident victim can receive.
You have legal options if you suffered injuries and other losses in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property. Specifically, if the property owner failed to properly maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, you can file a claim against the homeowner or their insurance company. In addition, if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your slip and fall injuries, you can file a lawsuit against the homeowner.
A skilled slip and fall injury attorney can review your individual situation with you and determine all available legal options. Your lawyer can then help you file a claim or a lawsuit on time and pursue the maximum amount of monetary compensation you deserve to recover for your slip and fall injuries.
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How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and fall accidents frequently result from defective conditions on someone else’s property. Outdoor slip and fall accidents on residential property may occur when property owners fail to remove snow or ice from their premises promptly or when property owners fail to warn about or repair defective surfaces outside their home, including driveways or sidewalks that contain large cracks, potholes, or spalling.
Similarly, slip and fall accidents may occur indoors when residential property owners fail to clean up a food or liquid spill in the kitchen area of the home, clean up a water spill in the bathroom, fail to repair worn or slippery carpeting, or fail to warn about or fix uneven floor services which create fall hazards for property visitors.
If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident at someone else’s residence, your lawyer can review the situation and determine if you may be eligible to file a legal claim. If you are, your attorney can assist you with filing the claim and, if necessary, litigating your case in the court system.
What Is Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage?
Homeowner’s insurance provides various types of coverage for incidents that may occur on a person’s premises. This coverage may come into play when a structural issue arises or when someone injures themselves on private property.
For example, if an individual suffers injuries in a slip and fall accident on property belonging to someone else, the accident victim can bring a claim under the homeowner’s insurance policy. When this policy comes into play, it will provide a certain amount of insurance coverage, depending upon the contract terms.
Therefore, the policy limits of coverage may set a cap on the types and amount of monetary damages that a slip and fall accident victim can recover in their claim or lawsuit. If the accident victim’s losses exceed those policy limits, the accident victim can pursue compensation directly from the homeowner.
A skilled slip and fall injury attorney in your area can review your unique circumstances with you and determine if you can file a claim with a homeowner’s insurance policy.
If you are, we can assist you with every step of the process, including dealing with insurance company representatives and adjusters. We can help you during all settlement negotiations and pursue litigation on your behalf if you are not obtaining a satisfactory result.
Injuries Accident Victims May Suffer in a Slip and Fall Accident
Victims of slip and fall accidents frequently suffer severe and debilitating injuries. These injuries usually happen because there is no physical barrier between the accident victim and the ground when they fall. When an individual hits a hard surface with a significant amount of force, they may suffer serious head injuries, broken bones, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, soft tissue contusions, and other severe damages.
If a slip and fall victim lands on their neck or back, they may suffer a spinal cord injury or some form of full or partial paralysis. These injuries may result in ongoing medical treatment, inconvenience, pain, and suffering.
The first thing you should do immediately after a slip and fall accident is report the incident to the homeowner and obtain the medical treatment you need. You should also get insurance information, as well as contact information, from the homeowner.
While you concentrate on receiving the medical treatment you need for your slip and fall injuries, your attorney can begin handling the legal components of your claim. Specifically, they can reach out to potential witnesses, obtain copies of your medical treatment records and lost-wage documentation, and begin assembling a personal injury claim for the insurance company adjuster’s review.
Once you complete all of your medical treatment after a slip and fall, your lawyer can begin negotiating with insurance company representatives on your behalf.
Legal Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim or Lawsuit
To recover favorable monetary damages in a slip and fall accident, the accident victim will need to satisfy their legal burden of proof. Specifically, they must show that the property owner owed them a legal duty of care.
In the case of residential slip and fall accidents, which may occur indoors or outdoors, property owners owe their guests a high legal duty of care. Specifically, they must adequately warn about or correct dangerous and defective conditions on their premises. Such conditions may include spills on the floor or faulty carpeting or flooring materials that create a trip hazard.
Next, the slip and fall victim must demonstrate that the property owner breached, or violated, their duty of care in some way. For example, if a spill existed on the floor, the property owner must have failed to warn about or remove the spill within a reasonable timeframe.
In addition, the accident victim must establish that this violation was both the actual and the foreseeable cause of their slip and fall accident, as well as the injuries they suffered in their accident.
Accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and others can review evidence of the case and provide opinions during a discovery deposition or jury trial. A knowledgeable slip and fall attorney in your area can help you satisfy your legal burden of proof to receive the monetary damages you need for your injuries.
Filing a Claim Under a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, your lawyer will likely deal with the insurance company for the homeowner. To file a claim, your lawyer must submit various documents to the insurance company to establish that your accident and injuries occurred.
First, your lawyer may need to offer testimony from witnesses, photographs of the incident scene, and any photographs depicting your injuries. You can also prepare a statement describing the overall effects of the slip and fall accident on your life.
Once the insurance company reviews these documents, they will decide whether they will accept or deny fault for the slip and fall accident. If they deny fault for the accident, your lawyer can challenge that decision by submitting additional evidence. If the insurance company doesn’t accept fault for the accident, then your attorney can begin settlement negotiations with the insurance company representative.
During this time, the parties usually go back and forth, making counteroffers and counter-demands until the parties either reach a favorable settlement resolution or decide to litigate their case in the court system. Just because the parties choose to file a lawsuit and litigate the case in court does not mean they cannot resolve the case through settlement.
Litigating a slip and fall case in the court system and retaining experts can cost a lot of money. Therefore, most parties will make a sincere attempt to settle the case at some point along the way.
If your slip and fall case must go to a jury trial, the parties will present their evidence in court and allow the jury to decide all disputed issues. The parties may also consider alternative dispute resolution options, such as binding arbitration or mediation.
Recovering Damages for Slip and Fall Injuries
Many victims of residential slip and fall accidents suffer debilitating and permanent injuries that affect every aspect of their lives going forward. In some situations, an accident victim may wind up in a wheelchair or rely upon others for constant care and support.
The monetary damages that a slip and fall accident victim may recover in their personal injury claim or lawsuit depends mainly upon the injuries that they suffered in their accident, the body part or parts that are affected, the extent of their medical treatment, and the cost of their medical treatment.
Since all slip and fall scenarios are different, not all accident victims will be eligible to receive identical amounts of damages. However, most accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their related medical expenses, both past and future.
In some cases where an accident victim suffers a permanent injury, a medical provider may state that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the accident victim may need to undergo a future procedure, such as surgery. In that instance, the accident victim can include these anticipated medical costs in their personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Next, some slip and fall victims must miss time from work so that they can attend medical appointments and recover from their injuries. In that situation, the accident victim can bring a claim for lost income. Moreover, if their slip and fall injuries prevent them from performing their current work duties, and they must take a lower-paying job, they can file a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition, accident victims can receive compensation for their mental pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, inconvenience, loss of use of a body part, loss of spousal companionship, and permanent disability or disfigurement.
A knowledgeable slip and fall attorney in your area can determine which of these damages he can realistically pursue and recover in your case. Your lawyer will then aggressively fight for your legal rights during settlement negotiations and litigation to help you maximize the total damage award you receive in your claim or lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall occurrence that happened on someone else’s premises, you should take swift legal action in your case. If you wait too long to retain legal representation and file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit, you may inadvertently jeopardize your right to recover monetary damages.
This is because accident victims must file their slip and fall lawsuit within two years of their accident date unless some rare circumstance applies. When accident victims do not file a lawsuit in a timely manner, they frequently waive their right to recover any monetary damages for their injuries.
Sometimes, people think their slip accident case is simple and clear-cut. They might think they don’t need or can’t afford an attorney. This is nearly always a mistake. Insurance companies are often large organizations that have vast resources and deep pockets. You can bet the insurance company has lawyers working for it, trying to find any reason not to give you the compensation you deserve. With the help of an attorney, you can help ensure that doesn’t happen.
As soon as you retain skilled legal counsel to represent you in your case, your attorney can enter their appearance and begin advocating for your legal interests. First, your lawyer can undertake an investigation of your accident and file a personal injury claim with the homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf. Next, your lawyer can assist you during the settlement negotiation process and help you litigate your case if it must go to court.
Finally, your attorney can represent you at your civil jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding and aggressively advocate for your legal interests at all times.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.