Slip and Fall Lawyer
As homeowners, we all worry in the back of our minds about what would happen if someone is injured on our property. You may wonder if you could be sued if someone is hurt, and under what conditions. The field of premises liability law covers residential, commercial and government property but for purposes of this article, we will focus solely on privately owned residential properties liability.
In most states, homeowners insurance is mandatory, especially if you have a mortgage on your property. The bank who services your loan needs to be assured that their investment in your home property asset is secure. This is good news, in that if you are sued, you may have your insurance company on your side to help defend your case and cover any liability settlement for the injured party.
However, always talk to your own attorney, as well. Your interests likely do not fully align with those of the insurance company and you want an attorney who is dedicated solely to putting your best interests first.
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions from property owners.
- Can guests to my home sue me? Yes, anyone who is injured on your property can try to sue you. As the homeowner/liable party, you owe your guests a duty to disclose any known dangers on your property. If it can be proven that you knew of the danger, failed to warn a guest and then that guest became injured, you can be held legally and financially liable for the injury. You may not be liable if you can prove that you could have been reasonably unaware of the danger that caused the injury.
- Can trespassers sue me? The short answer is yes. However, you are under a less stringent duty of care in the case of a trespasser injury vs. an invited guest injury.
- What about child trespassers? The law if different regarding injury to children who may trespass on your property. There is something called the “attractive nuisance doctrine” that basically states that you are required to protect children from features of a property that may “attract” the kids attention, but due to their young age, they may not understand the danger of, such as swimming pools or trampolines.
- Will my homeowner’s insurance cover any costs or damages awarded from a lawsuit? In many cases, yes. But, every homeowner’s insurance plan has policy limits, or the maximum amount they will cover in the event of a successful claim. In the event of a very severe injury or death, damages could exceed your property limits and the injured party may come after you personally for monies in excess of your policy limits.
- My homeowner’s insurance said they will represent me in negotiating a settlement. Do I still need a lawyer? Your homeowner’s insurance and their lawyers have their best interests at heart first. Sometimes your best interests are in line with those of the insurance company, and sometimes they aren’t. Always consult with your own personal injury defense attorney to make sure you are getting the best possible representation and protection.
As in any legal matter, be careful what you say to the other party and their insurance company and lawyers.
Please call a slip and fall attorney in Longwood, FL today for a no-obligation consultation about your case. They will make sure your rights are vigorously represented.
Thanks to David & Philpot, PL for their insight into personal injury claims and slip and fall accidents.