November 14, 2022
personal injury

A guest slipping and falling at your home can cause anxiety and stress. If they’re seriously injured in the fall, you may worry about facing a slip-and-fall lawsuit, as many homeowners don’t have the financial means to cover someone else’s medical bills.

Luckily, homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage for injuries suffered on the property, offering protection if a personal injury suit is filed. Discover who covers a slip-and-fall lawsuit on private property and how The Vance Law Firm can help if you suffer injuries on another person’s premises.

What is a Slip-and-Fall Injury?

A slip-and-fall injury happens when someone sustains an injury from slipping and falling on a wet, slick, or slippery surface. Slipping and falling can result in back injuries, concussions, broken bones, and other serious damages that can cause long-term pain and disability.

Under Alabama law, if someone is injured due to the property owner’s negligence, they may be able to sue the property owner for compensation for their injuries. To prove negligence, the injured party must show that:

  • The property owner had a duty to protect them from harm.
  • The property owner did not adhere to that duty.
  • The other person suffered damages as a result.

For instance, if a wet floor causes a customer to slip and fall while shopping, they may be able to recover damages from the store. Similarly, if they are injured on private property, they may be able to sue the homeowner.

Some exceptions exist to this rule. For instance, homeowners are not obligated to keep their property safe for trespassers, only those invited onto the property, like guests and contractors.

However, this does not apply to children. Alabama’s attractive nuisance laws make homeowners responsible for injuries to children caused by elements on the property, like swimming pools, even if they wander onto the premises.

For homeowners and slip-and-fall accident victims, Alabama’s pure contributory fault clause plays a significant part in determining liability. This doctrine relieves homeowners of liability if a visitor is even 1% responsible for their injury.

If you are a homeowner, this can reduce your anxiety over a potential lawsuit; however, if you are a victim, it can make it challenging to get a settlement for your injuries. Premises accident victims can work with a Montgomery slip-and-fall lawyer from The Vance Law Firm to review their case and determine if they can file a compensation claim.

Most Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Seemingly harmless conditions can lead to painful slips and falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the most common causes of slips and falls include:

  • Spills or leaks
  • Clutter, debris, or large obstacles like stepladders
  • Cords or wires
  • Uneven or damaged flooring or loose floor mats
  • Loose or missing stairs or handrails
  • Outdoor weather conditions like rain or ice

The CDC reports that over 800,000 people seek hospital care due to fall injuries each year, and falls are the most common cause of TBIs. Additionally, 95% of hip fracture injuries are caused due to falls.

Will a Homeowner Pay Out-of-Pocket for a Slip-and-Fall Injury?

Typically, no. Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover personal injuries on their property, including slip-and-fall injuries. Filing a claim with homeowners’ insurance after a slip and fall is usually sufficient to compensate an injured guest.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the liability portion of a homeowners’ insurance policy typically covers no-fault medical insurance. If the policy has this coverage, the injured victim can submit their medical bills to the insurance for payment.

If the insurance company denies the claim or the other person is badly injured, the guest may consider filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit. Homeowners’ insurance typically covers up to $100,000 in court costs and damage awards, offering the homeowner and accident victim financial protection after an incident.

Every homeowners’ insurance policy is different. Working with a skilled slip-and-fall lawyer is essential to understand the homeowner’s property’s coverages and how they impact a potential compensation award.

Tips for Homeowners to Avoid a Slip-and-Fall Injury

While homeowners may not be responsible for compensating someone who injures themselves out-of-pocket, knowing how to prevent injuries to guests can reduce the likelihood of a personal injury claim. Homeowners can implement the following tips to avoid slip-and-fall injuries on their property:

  • Maintain Your Property

Many fall hazards result from unmaintained or poorly maintained property elements, like leaking pipes or loose handrails. Keep your house and yard in good shape by repairing wear and tear, pruning trees, and regularly inspecting your appliances and home hardware. Fixing a problem early often means lower repair costs and helps you avoid the expense of fighting a personal injury lawyer.

  • Clean Your Home

Clutter is often uneven and doesn’t have much traction with the floor, making it easy to slip on or trip over. Even if something seems hard to overlook, like a ladder, guests can still trip over it if it’s dark or they step backward. Keep your floors clear of clutter and spills that could cause guests to lose footing.

  • Use Non-Slip Mats

Some rugs on wood or tile floors can slip or bunch up, creating a potential fall hazard. Placing non-slip mats under these rugs will keep them from moving around. Additionally, put non-slip mats in areas that are likely to become wet or muddy, like bathrooms and doors leading outside.

  • Block Off Hazards

Some slip-and-fall hazards can’t be repaired immediately. If you’re waiting for repairs, block the hazardous area so guests can’t access it and hang up a sign notifying them of the danger. For instance, install a temporary fence around a ditch with a sign stating the ground is uneven.

Consult with The Vance Law Firm

If you’re a visitor at an irresponsible homeowner’s house, you may find yourself seriously injured after a slip or fall at their home. If you’re unsure what to do after a slip and fall on someone else’s property, The Vance Law Firm can help you understand your legal options and seek compensation for your injuries.

We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and prove the homeowner’s fault. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your case.

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