Can a Slip and Fall Claim Be Covered By Homeowners’ Insurance?

Slips and falls happen everywhere; they occur at stores, businesses, on sidewalks, in parking lots, and sometimes at private residences. If you slip and fall at a store because the store or its staff was negligent, you’re pretty confident you can file a claim, but what if you’re injured in a slip and fall accident at someone’s home? Can you file a slip and fall claim against the homeowner?

The answer depends if the homeowner has an insurance policy that covers such claims. Before we discuss this further, we want to discuss slip and fall claims at private homes in more detail. Usually, slip and fall claims brought against homeowners’ insurance policies are the result of:

  • Stair accidents
  • Sidewalk accidents
  • Driveway accidents
  • Flooring-related accidents
  • Front or backyard accidents

Types of Slip & Fall Accidents

Stair accidents, for example, are often the result of defective or damaged handrails, wrong heights involving steps, varying heights of steps, improperly installed carpet on steps, or a slippery or foreign substance on the stairs.

A sidewalk accident often occurs when someone slips on snow or ice, or on an uneven sidewalk. With sidewalk accidents, legal liability comes down to who is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. Sometimes it’s the municipality, not the homeowner.

Floor accidents often involve area rugs that don’t have slip-resistant backing, frayed carpets, freshly waxed floors, uneven floors, and broken tiles.

Homeowners Are Not Automatically Liable

As with slip and fall accidents that occur on commercial properties, the property owner (in this case the homeowner) is not automatically liable. For the homeowner to be liable, they must be negligent and their negligence must have contributed to the person’s injury.

“How can I tell if the homeowner was negligent?” you might ask. It depends if the condition that caused you to get hurt was unreasonably safe. Homeowners have a duty to keep their properties safe for visitors. So, if the homeowner knew about the unsafe condition or should have known about it and failed to repair it, the homeowner is usually held liable. However, there is one exception: homeowners aren’t usually liable when someone is injured while committing a crime, such as residential burglary, on their properties.

If the homeowner IS liable for the injury and they have homeowners’ insurance, the policy will probably have liability coverage and medical coverage, which will help cover the injured party’s losses. If you were injured on someone’s personal property and want to file a claim against their homeowners’ insurance, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, today.

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