If someone has slipped and fallen on your property, you may be concerned that you will face a premises liability claim. Many people who suffer such an injury believe their claim is automatically covered by homeowners’ insurance. However, there are criteria that must be met before determining if slip and fall injury claims covered by homeowner’s insurance is possible.
In order for a slip and fall injury claim to be covered by homeowner’s insurance, your actions must have been negligent in some way. A fall does not necessarily mean you are negligent. You may not even be negligent if there was an unsafe condition or if there was a slippery surface that caused someone to fall. The law requires that the condition be unreasonably safe. Often, residential slip and falls are caused by a trip on the stairs, icy sidewalks or over objects.
Although stair accidents can be caused by negligence, they are often due to something that was unavoidable, such as a heel caught in the hem of a long dress. However, a fall on a stairway may be due to negligence if the following conditions existed:
If someone trips on your carpet, rugs or floors, you could be held liable if the rug did not have proper grip padding underneath. If your carpet is frayed or uneven, you may be held liable for a trip and fall. If you have recently waxed or polished your floors, you must warn anyone who will walk across them that the floor may be slippery.
The law requires you to remove ice and snow in a reasonable time after a storm, but does not usually require you to create a sidewalk that is completely clear of slippery surfaces. Therefore, non-removal of ice and snow, especially in areas with high incidences of inclement weather, are often not seen as negligent on the part of the homeowner. In the case of a sidewalk that is cracked or broken, you may be considered negligent if the sidewalk is your responsibility to maintain. If your city or town is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, you will not be responsible for the injury, but the municipality may.
If someone has suffered an injury and you are concerned about slip and fall injury claims covered by homeowner’s insurance, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for your initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the simple form on our website.