A slip or fall can cause major injuries, from bone fractures to traumatic brain injuries. Even if your own health insurance covers some of your costs, you could face significant medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses that leave a huge impact on your life. If you become temporarily or permanently unable to work, you could lose months or years of income.
If your injuries are caused by hazardous conditions on someone else’s property, you could file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner or tenant who is responsible. In some cases, this is a business. In cases involving private homes, it’s often an individual.
Maybe you broke your ankle because you slipped on your friend’s recently mopped kitchen floor, which didn’t have any warning signs. Maybe you fell down a broken staircase at a family member’s party and you find out that their landlord knew about the problem but failed to do anything about it for months. In these scenarios, the property owner is legally responsible for the consequences of their negligence.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit against a property owner, they’re supposed to pay for your damages – all of your economic and non-economic losses related to your injuries. But that individual may not be able to afford the full extent of your damages. If not, you would have to go after the individual’s assets, including potentially the value of their home itself.
Fortunately, in most cases, the property owner’s homeowners insurance should step in to cover the damages that they’re responsible for. Most California homeowners insurance policies have coverage for when other people get injured on the property. A premises liability lawyer can help you file the proper claims and get you the compensation you deserve.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Liability Protection?
Even though California does not require private property owners to carry homeowner insurance, almost all homeowners get this type of insurance because their mortgage lenders require it.
Homeowner’s insurance typically covers the cost to repair or replace the home and any of the belongings inside the home. These policies are meant to protect the homeowner from loss.
However, most homeowners insurance policies also include personal liability coverage and/or medical payments to others coverage. These policies kick in specifically when a homeowner or resident of the property is legally responsible for causing injury to someone else.
Below are some examples of injuries that could be covered by a homeowners insurance policy:
- You’re a delivery person who gets bitten by a homeowner’s unleashed dog
- You slip on the deck of your friend’s pool and suffer a concussion
- You get robbed on the way out of your friend’s apartment because the landlord has failed to install lighting along the property’s dark driveway
- You suffer burn injuries when a grill catches fire at a barbecue
- You break your leg when an old wooden floor collapses at an acquaintance’s home
- As a tenant, you suffer health effects from long-term exposure to mold on the property
- A tree swing breaks and the branch falls on your head when you’re visiting your in-laws
- Someone spills alcohol at a party and you slip and fall, hitting your head
- You trip over a ditch in your neighbor’s yard and chip your tooth
Every premises liability case is different depending on the unique circumstances. What was the hazard that caused your injuries? Who was responsible for addressing the hazard? Did they fail to properly handle the issue? How severe were your injuries as a result?
A personal injury claim is appropriate in cases where a homeowner’s failure to provide a safe environment or properly maintain their property causes injury to others. If you can prove your case, your damages are likely to be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.
What Is Personal Liability on a Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Some accidents can’t be anticipated or avoided. But some injuries are caused by hazards that should have been anticipated by the property owner, who should have taken steps to stop those injuries from happening. That is a property owner’s legal duty.
When a property owner fails to live up to their legal duty of safety, that makes them personally liable for any injuries caused by their negligence. This is how the law helps compensate injury victims, by putting the financial burden on the person who is legally responsible for the injury.
Even if a settlement can’t undo your injuries, it can help lessen their effect on your life by compensating you for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost income, and emotional damages like pain and suffering. A proper settlement should be enough to cover your injuries not just in the present but in the future, too.
About Medical Payments Coverage
Many homeowners insurance policies also offer medical payment coverage for anyone who gets injured on the property, whether the property owner is at fault or not. These payments apply to anyone who isn’t a resident or member of the household.
While these payments may apply to your case, they tend to be limited – anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000 maximum. This is unlikely to cover the cost of significant injuries, where medical bills or lost income could total $100,000 or more.
How Homeowners Insurance Could Cover Your Claims
Premises liability cases can get complicated, especially when homeowners insurance policies have certain terms or limits – or if an insurance company refuses to play ball.
Many standard home insurance policies have personal liability limits of up to $300,000. However, this all depends on the specific policy on the property.
The most important part of a case is for you to get the compensation you need to move forward with your life after an injury. The legal process doesn’t have to be complicated when you get the help of an experienced premises liability attorney on your case.
At Sepulveda Sanchez Law, your consultation is free and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to worry about paying legal fees unless you win your case. Click here to contact us now and get started on your case.