Homeowners insurance personal injury claim
When you, a homeowner, invite a guest into your home, it’s likely for a special occasion: a birthday party, football game, or what have you. As you may not be a business owner, you would think that you would find yourself the victim of a personal injury claim. One can always imagine suing a business – like Dominguez v. Publix, Edwards v. Hy-Vee, and Grimes v. Family Dollar – but being sued by a guest tends to catch one by surprise.
Therefore, from the legal standpoint, it’s important to be prepared for the worst case scenario – your guests finding themselves injured on your property, and holding you accountable. In this case, you would turn to a homeowners insurance personal injury claim.
So, what do you need to know about a homeowners insurance personal injury claim? Will you be held financially responsible for the situation, and be forced to pay out-of-pocket? Will your insurance cover the claim?
Check your policy
Always, always, always, before accepting any legal advice whatsoever, always check your insurance policy. If you are involved in a legal situation with your insurance company, your policy is the manual that your attorney (and hopefully, your insurance company) will be using. All policies are different, depending on the company, your state, your history, and your given situation.
Therefore, if you’re questioning whether or not your homeowners insurance will cover a claim made against you by a guest in your home, check your policy. It will say right there on the document. If your insurance will cover the claim, the monetary amount stated will be the amount of money your insurance company will provide the victim; any required payment beyond that will come out of your pocket.
This compensation will cover all sorts of costs, like their medical bills, pain and suffering, any lost wages resulting from them being unable to work, etc. As you can imagine, these bills can easily add up. On the bright side, your insurance policy is likely to cover these easily, except for severe injuries. It’s not unusual for a policy to provide up to $200,000 for these circumstances. And, if that doesn’t cover it, some policies may have an “umbrella” provision, meant to provide extra protection for cases like this.
This umbrella policy, if you opt in for one, might cover things like bodily injury liability and property damage liability, both of which can be utilized if you are found to be at-fault for bodily injury or property damage.
Most would not think of negligence claims occurring when one is visiting another’s home. And you’d be right – while it’s not wildly popular, it is still a legal possibility. As with all negligence claims, the understanding is that the person or entity (you) who owns the property (your home) where one experienced bodily injury is expected to keep the property reasonably safe. If it’s proven that the injured received this injury because the property was not kept reasonably safe, the property owner may be considered liable. If the injured was acting in an unreasonable way when it occurred, the injured may be liable.
Know your next step
If you’ve invited a guest into your home and they’ve been injured, know your options. We at Corless Barfield are well-versed in dealing with insurance companies, and can help you understand your insurance policy. Contact us for a free consultation.
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