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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Suing Homeowners' Insurance for a Slip-and-Fall Injury: What to Do

A single person can visit over ten places in just one week, including a neighbor's or a friend's house. Unfortunately, an accident can occur at those properties, which can result in huge medical bills, inability to work as usual, mental distress, and other damages.

No one would want someone to have an accident on their property. Sadly, many are negligent and fail to ensure visitors' safety. Therefore, even if it wasn't intentional, victims can recover compensation for their injuries through homeowners' insurance.

According to Indiana laws, if the property owner contributed to the accident and is insured, injured people could file a slip-and-fall claim. With this legal action, victims can seek remuneration to pay for costs related to their injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are also able to answer questions like How can slips trips and falls lead to litigation?

What Is Homeowner's Insurance?

What Is Homeowner's Insurance?

Homeowner's insurance covers damage to property and belongings in the event of a disaster or accident that may result in quantifiable losses. Additionally, it offers coverage for personal liability, which means it provides protection if an incident involving policyholders' properties injures another individual.

As such, a homeowner's insurance policy covers costs related to the injuries a person sustains on the policyholder's property if there's a third-party claim. Personal injury lawsuits for a slip-and-fall accident are the most common types of legal action that fall within this category.

What Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover? Examples of Slip-and-Fall Accidents

These are three examples of the slip-and-fall accidents that a homeowner's insurance policy often covers:

  • A person visits a friend's house on a dark night but suddenly loses their footing and falls while walking through the front door, resulting in painful lumbar spine injuries.

  • Someone visits a neighbor's home and falls due to a broken step or a slippery floor.

  • A hole in the yard of a friend's house presents a high risk to others, but the property owner fails to inform visitors about this, and an accident occurs because a person falls there.

Is the Homeowner Insured?

After a slip-and-fall accident on someone else's property, one of the first things injured people should find out is whether the owner is insured.

As mentioned, "personal liability" is one of the things that homeowners' insurance covers because property owners can be found responsible for injuries that other people sustain in their homes. Therefore, most have this policy.

However, many property owners haven't purchased this, especially those who own mortgage-free homes, so victims should always find out if the parties who are held responsible for their injuries have homeowners' insurance coverage.

The only way to find out if a person has this type of coverage is to ask them. In some cases, injured parties simply file a claim and see if the property owner turns it over to their homeowner's insurance company. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can provide insight on sidewalk slip and fall who was liable.

What Happens If the Property Owner Doesn't Have Homeowner's Insurance Coverage?

If the property owner doesn't have this coverage, victims cannot file a homeowner's insurance claim. Instead, injured people can bring a personal injury lawsuit directly against them.

Moreover, injured parties must file a personal injury claim directly against the homeowner if the responsible party has insurance, but the policy limit is low and doesn't cover all damages.

Types of Homeowner's Insurance Coverage Available

A homeowners' insurance policy typically has two kinds of coverage for slip-and-fall cases. These are medical payments or "med pay" and personal liability coverage.

Medical Payments Coverage or Med Pay

It typically pays for the injured person's medical bills. Although most insurers include med pay coverage in these policies, the amount of coverage is usually small, averaging between $3,000 and $5,000.

Homeowners may purchase additional coverage. However, most don't. Fortunately, medical payment coverage is considered a type of "no-fault" insurance, so victims aren't required to prove that the policyholder was negligent in order to collect compensation.

Those who can prove that they were injured on the policyholder's property, even if there was no negligence, typically recover compensation for their medical treatment and related expenses up to the coverage limit.

Personal Liability Coverage

This type of coverage is often used in two scenarios: when victims' medical bills are higher than the med pay coverage limit or when they want to recover other damages, which may include pain and suffering or lost wages.

A homeowner's insurance claim is necessary in this case. Claimants can only recover compensation if homeowners were negligent and it's found that that behavior caused or contributed to the injuries.

It's important to understand that the fact that a person slipped and fell in someone else's home doesn't mean that the property owner acted negligently. Therefore, the insurance company only reimburses victims for their injuries if they can prove that they were caused by an unsafe condition that the homeowner should have known of.

Additionally, homeowners can use several defenses to claim they weren't responsible for the accident. The "open and obvious" doctrine is common in these cases.

What Should People Do to File a Slip-and-Fall Claim?

All cases are different, so the process may vary. Unfortunately, since insurers often raise premiums after an accident happens on the policyholder's property, many homeowners refuse to disclose information about their insurance company.

However, victims can contact an experienced personal injury lawyer and ask for help handling their cases. Also, after the accident occurs, they should do the following:

  • Get medical care as their first priority

  • Document everything, keeping medical records and getting photos of the location under similar circumstances, if possible

  • Talk to other people who were at the same property to see if they found that unsafe condition

  • Take notes to record what they saw before they fell, detailing their injuries, the medical care they received, and the limitations they experienced

  • Report the claim to the homeowners' insurance company as soon as possible

  • Prepare to give the insurance adjuster a recorded statement about the accident, only if they have an attorney

  • Write a settlement demand letter

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Slip-and-Fall Victims

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Slip-and-Fall Victims

Victims should understand many things about slip-and-fall cases if they plan to take legal action against the responsible party. Additionally, they have to deal with insurance adjusters who will try to settle the case for a low sum without filing a lawsuit. This can be quite overwhelming.

However, people who work with an experienced attorney at their side will find it easier to handle personal injury claims for a slip-and-fall accident. A seasoned lawyer can guide victims through the legal process, helping them understand their rights and fight for them.

Moreover, personal injury lawyers know insurer adjusters' techniques to persuade victims and reduce compensation as much as possible. Therefore, they're prepared to handle negotiations with these companies and do what it takes to reach a fair settlement.

If victims plan to file a personal injury claim against a homeowner, Indianapolis slip and fall attorneys can also provide legal advice to build the case.

Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys!

Suing homeowners insurance for slip-and-fall accidents? Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has extensive experience in personal injury cases and is ready to help. Call us today!


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