If a person is injured in a slip and fall accident on residential property, the homeowner may be held liable. In such case, the homeowner would be responsible for compensating the victim for any injuries and damages suffered in the accident. Liability, however, depends on numerous factors and can vary by situation. If liable, home insurance may cover the accident. Certain limitations and exclusions may apply so it’s important to learn the terms of the insurance policy.
A homeowner has a duty to provide some safe premises to every person that enters the property. This is what is referred to as premise liability. Any area of the property that is open or likely to be visited by a person should be free of any unsafe or hazardous conditions. If a slip and fall accident were to occur, the homeowner can be held liable if:
- They are responsible for the unsafe condition.
- They knew or should have known about the condition.
- They had enough time to correct the condition.
Premise liability is still dependent on a few other factors, such as the status of the person entering the property. For example, someone invited onto the property is owed a greater duty of care than a trespasser. In some states, however, a homeowner can be held liable for the injuries of a trespasser on the property under certain conditions.
Homeowners insurance will typically step in when legal action is brought forward after a slip and fall accident and the homeowner is found liable. The only exception is if the fall was caused purposely or maliciously, in which case the insurance company will usually not cover the fall.
Types of Accidents Covered by Homeowners’ Insurance
Most injuries and property damage will be taken care of by liability coverage within the homeowners’ insurance policy as long as negligence by the homeowner is proven. Accidents that are likely to be included in liability coverage include those caused by:
- Wet or slippery walkways
- Stairs that are not up to building codes
- Stairs with loose boards, foreign objects, no handrails, shallow or uneven steps
- Flooring, rugs, or carpet that are uneven, frayed, loose, have holes
- Broken or uneven sidewalks or walkways
What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at another person’s home there are several steps to take if you intend to recover damages. A successful claim requires proof of the accident, the cause of the accident and the injuries that occurred from the accident. You should first document the accident and the scene of the accident, especially the specific condition that caused the fall. This can be done by taking photos, videos and writing down the events that led to the accident. It is also wise to obtain any witness testimony of the accident. In addition, you will need to gather all medical records and bills regarding the injury. It is important to hire a slip and fall accident lawyer such as the Personal Injury Lawyer Salt Lake City UT locals turn to who can help you build a strong case An experienced lawyer will help you take the necessary steps to increase your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages.
Thanks to authors at Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into Personal Injury Law.