Sean Lopez | August 9, 2022 | Slip & Fall Accidents
Are Slip and Fall Injuries Covered by Homeowners Insurance in Florida?
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere. You can fall at the mall or on a cruise ship. Your child could slip and fall at school or a museum.
In addition to falls on public and government property, slip and fall accidents occur on private property. For example, you could slip, trip, or fall in your neighbor’s yard or at a friend’s house.
Who is responsible for paying for your medical bills and other damages if you fall on private property?
Homeowner’s Insurance Might Cover a Slip and Fall Accident
Homeowner’s insurance protects a home from fire, theft, and other damage. However, it can also include liability insurance that covers injuries that occur on the property. The liability may extend to the homeowner’s negligence.
For example, your neighbor invites you over for dinner, and they fail to tell you to come in the back door because the front steps are broken. As a result, you fall on the steps and break your leg.
In that case, the homeowners’ insurance policy might cover your slip and fall injuries. However, insurance policies contain exclusions and limitations to coverage. Therefore, you will need to review the policy to determine if it covers your accident.
The insurance adjuster or the homeowner might tell you that the insurance policy does not cover your fall. Do not accept their opinion as to coverage or liability.
Instead, have a slip and fall lawyer review your case during a free consultation. You need legal advice from an experienced lawyer who only has your best interests as their priority.
Proving a Homeowner Is Liable for a Slip and Fall Injury
Even though a homeowners’ insurance policy covers slip and fall injuries, the insurance company will not pay your damages until you prove the owner is liable. Therefore, you need to have evidence proving the legal elements of a slip and fall claim.
Generally, proving liability for a premises liability claim requires you to have evidence proving negligence:
- The homeowner owed you a duty of care
- The homeowner breached the duty of care
- The homeowner’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the homeowner’s beach of duty
Property owners have a general duty of care to maintain safe premises for invitees and guests. Therefore, if you were on the property legally, a duty of care should be easy to establish.
The following two elements are the most difficult to prove – breach of duty and causation.
Breach of duty means that the homeowner failed to use the same level of care that a person with ordinary prudence would use in the same situation. Beaching the duty of care generally means:
- The homeowner knew about a dangerous condition on the property but failed to do anything to correct it; OR,
- The homeowner failed to warn you of a known danger; OR,
- The homeowner should have reasonably known about a danger on the property by exercising reasonable diligence but failed to do so.
You must prove that the property owner’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury. In the above example, the homeowner knew of the broken step and failed to warn you. The failure to fix the step or warn you of the danger was the direct and proximate cause of your injury.
Lastly, you must prove that the breach of duty caused your damages. Damages can include economic damages and financial losses. They also include your non-economic damages. The value of your depends on the circumstances of your case and the severity of your injuries.
Steps To Take After You Slip and Fall on Another Person’s Property
The steps to take after a slip and fall accident on another person’s property are:
- Notify the property owner of your injury
- Take photographs of the accident area and make a video of the area
- If there were witnesses, make sure you have their names and contact information
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries
- Document your damages by taking pictures of your injuries, taking notes about your recovery, and keeping all documents related to your injury, expenses, and bills
- File an insurance claim with the person’s homeowners’ insurance company and make a note of the claim number
- Seek legal advice as soon as possible from a lawyer
It is wise to have legal advice before you talk with an insurance adjuster. It is also wise not to discuss the accident with the homeowner. The statements you make could be used against you.
Florida’s comparative fault law applies in slip and fall accidents. If you are partially to blame for the cause of your injury, your compensation for damages is reduced by your level of fault.
Therefore, talk with a lawyer before talking to the insurance company. You do not want to give the insurance adjuster any reason to allege you contributed to the cause of the slip and fall injury.
Contact Our Slip and Fall Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
Contact a St. Petersburg slip and fall lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701