When you’re visiting someone else’s house and you fall and get hurt, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. In general, this compensation will come from the property owner’s insurance. However, there are certain limits to this coverage which could leave you with less than you thought you were going to get.
This is why it’s important to have the right legal help in your corner when you pursue your case. Learn about the limits to personal injury coverage under homeowner’s insurance, and why it’s important to have an injury attorney to defend your rights.
Homeowner’s Liability Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies have liability coverage packaged in. This coverage serves to protect against injuries suffered by others on the property. If you slip and fall due to ice on the homeowner’s walkway, their liability insurance will pay the damages if they are found liable. However, this coverage will only pay out up to policy limits.
For example, if the homeowner has only $150,000 in liability coverage, and your injuries result in a ruling of $200,000 in damages, the insurance will not pay the last $50,000 of that. Technically the homeowner remains on the hook for this leftover amount, but it can be hard to collect.
Of course, before you can get a ruling on your case at all, you need to prove that the homeowner was “at fault” for your injury. This requires demonstrating negligence, or the idea that their irresponsibility or deliberate actions led to you getting hurt.
It generally breaks down like this: a homeowner has the responsibility of making sure that other people who come to visit them aren’t in danger of getting hurt (called a “duty of care”). If they violate this duty by failing to address a dangerous situation in a timely fashion, and someone gets hurt by that particular situation, they’re negligent.
Consider the example of slipping on the ice. Let’s say there’s an ice storm raging at the moment you visit. Slipping and falling in that case likely isn’t the homeowner’s fault because they haven’t had a reasonable time to address the issue. If the storm happened a few days ago, and they just haven’t bothered to clean up, on the other hand, they might be held liable for the injuries.
Why an Injury Attorney Matters
Not only does the coverage limit of an insurance policy limit how much you can receive, often the insurer will go to great lengths to avoid paying out at all. They might claim you’re not that badly hurt. They might claim your injury was pre-existing. They might try to strong-arm you into signing a low-ball offer. They might even say that you were the one acting dangerously and are thus responsible for your own injury.
An experienced injury attorney has seen all of these excuses and more. They know exactly how to fire back and make sure that your rights as the innocent claim holder are protected. At Stewart Bell, PLLC, we have years of experience fighting insurance companies who are determined not to pay, and in getting successful resolutions for our clients. For more information or to set up a completely free case consultation, contact us today!