Slip and Fall Lawsuits Happen All The Time. Is Your Property Protected?
When you fall at your own home, your homeowner’s policy does not cover your own injuries. To get payment for your injuries, you must resort to your health insurance for payment. If someone slips and falls at your home, your homeowner’s policy may step in. By the same token, if you are injured on someone else’s property in Los Angeles, a premises liability attorney may help you get compensation — from the insurer of the homeowner whose conditions and negligence caused you harm.
Why May Homeowners Insurance Cover Slip and Fall Accidents?
You have homeowners insurance in order to pay for damage that results from fires, wind, sudden bursting of pipes and other covered perils. The benefits of the policy include repair or replacement of the damaged items, such as floors, walls and roofs.
Homeowners insurance also covers the liability of the owner if you are injured on someone else’s property in Los Angeles. The homeowners policy will defend the homeowner and pay your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering that result from the negligence of the owner. In that sense, the liability part of a homeowners policy functions similar to the automobile liability insurance.
What is Required for a Slip and Fall
You will not recover from another’s homeowners policy unless you can establish that the owner was at fault in causing your injuries. Attorneys for premises liability claims help injured persons prove that the landowner either caused, failed to fix or failed to warn about a dangerous condition.
California homeowners owe to lawful visitors the duty to exercise reasonable care to keep premises safe and to warn those guests of dangerous conditions. Slips and falls in a home may arise from hazards such as:
- Liquids on floors, including in kitchens, bathrooms, basements and other places where liquids might gather
- Broken or rotten steps on stairways or porches
- Loose, insecure or broken rails or floors
- Torn carpet
- Electrical or extension cords
You must prove that the homeowner knew or should have known about the unsafe conditions. A property injury lawyer Los Angeles often seeks to prove that the condition has remained for a significant length of time. The evidence may come from security cameras and neighbors and others who have visited the property. Repair records might establish the necessary notice on the land owner of the condition.
Injuries from a Slip and Fall
Falls can create for you fairly serious injuries. Chances are that your head may hit a surface such as the floor or ground, a step or rail and you might suffer a concussion. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48 percent of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries arose from slips and falls. Approximately 80 percent of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries among adults aged 65 years and older resulted from a fall. Among those younger than age 17, falls accounted for 49 percent of emergency room encounters for these types of injuries.
Look for symptoms of concussions or traumatic brain injuries such as dizziness, loss of consciousness, blurred vision and memory loss. You may incur significant present and future expenses and disabilities if you suffer a concussion.
Slip and falls also result in fractures, bruises and sprains. These injuries, along with concussions, affect your physical ability to work, engage in physical activities and daily functions of life. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney seeks compensation for such losses and the pain and suffering you face from a slip and fall at someone else’s home.
How to Pursue the Homeowners Insurance
Making claims against a homeowners policy presents some challenges that you may not encounter with an automobile wreck. In the latter case, the tortfeasor likely has automobile liability insurance. After all, California law requires it of every motorist. State law does not mandate that homeowners carry homeowners insurance. If the homeowner has a mortgage, then the lender will require it, and your homeowner will be more likely to have liability insurance.
While the homeowner may have a policy, getting information on it may prove a different matter. Motorists must report most auto collisions, and a law enforcement officer will likely arrive at the accident scene. Drivers will exchange ownership and insurance information.
A slip and fall that causes you to be injured on someone else’s property in Los Angeles does not automatically, and in many cases does not, generate a police report. The homeowner does not have any obligation to tell you the name of the homeowners policy when the accident occurs. To get that information, you have to file a lawsuit.
A premises liability attorney has discovery available to learn about the insurance when a lawsuit is filed. Specifically, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney will serve written requests for the name, address and policy number of all insurance policies that may provide the homeowner liability coverage for your injuries. Your lawyer will likely get copies of the policy itself. This information helps attorneys for premises liability claims determine the amount of available insurance and whether the tortfeasor’s policy has medical payments coverage. The latter type of benefits can pay your medical bills up to a limit, regardless whether the homeowner ultimately is at fault for your injuries.
If your injuries exceed the policy limits for what the homeowners policy will pay, you must look to other sources of payment. Absent other insurance, you may still have a judgment against the homeowner. However, the owner can protect a certain amount of property — including the home — from collection on the judgment. If the homeowner does not have a mortgage, you might have more equity to access.
To get the compensation you need from a homeowner’s failure to keep the home safe, contact a property injury lawyer Los Angeles who can gather the facts, insurance information and deal with the owner’s insurance company or its lawyer.