Published on Feb 20, 2015 by Edgar Snyder

What Happens If You Fall at Your Friend or Relative's House?

homeowner liability

An Inside Look at Who Really Foots the Bill in a Slip and Fall Case

Every day, we speak with people injured from slip and fall accidents and unsafe property conditions. It's very common to suffer a slip and fall injury while visiting the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.

Those who've called us after an incident like this often say, "I don't want to sue my loved one/friend, but my medical bills are piling up!" You certainly don't want to damage your relationship with the person, but what if the injury has caused considerable damage in your life?

There's a common misunderstanding when it comes to slip and fall accidents. The individual property owner isn't on the hook for your medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Their homeowner's insurance is responsible for paying these costs.

A homeowner's insurance policy has two functions:

Duty to Indemnify

The insurance company must indemnify (pay for damages for which the homeowner is responsible) up to the limit of their policy.

Duty to Defend

The insurance company must defend a homeowner if a claim is brought against them. This includes hiring and paying for an attorney to defend the homeowner.

For instance, if you bring a claim against your neighbor after seriously injuring yourself on their icy sidewalk, and your neighbor has homeowner's insurance:

  • Your neighbor's insurance company would instantly take over that claim and control all aspects of it.

  • Your neighbor would not have to personally hire an attorney or pay for that attorney.

  • The insurance company would pay for the amount of the claim up to the limits on your neighbor's homeowner's insurance policy.

  • Your neighbor would not have to pay for your damages.

Insuring a property is required and meant to financially protect the landowner in the event of an accident. An insurance company's job is to handle claims brought by and against its policy holders. It may be more accurate to look at it not as suing your friend or loved one, but as suing their insurance company.

Questions About Your Slip and Fall Accident? We Have the Answers

Unfortunately, when an accident happens, there can be a lot of confusion. If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, you may have a few more questions. That's okay. We want you to ask questions, so that we can help you find the answers—look through some of our Frequently Asked Questions: Slip and Fall Accidents.

Or, get your questions answered by speaking with one of our knowledgeable legal professionals.

If You're Injured in an Accident, Give Our Professionals a Call

We're standing by – day or night – to help with your slip and fall accident. It's free to speak with us, and there's never an obligation to hire our firm after you call. We'll answer your legal questions, and help you determine your best course of action.

And remember, there's never a fee unless we get money for your slip and fall injuries.

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