GOES THE HOMEOWNER HAVE INSURANCE?
Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common injuries of all. They can happen any time, and to anyone—and when they do, it can be challenging to know what to do. For example, what if you visit a restaurant, slip and fall, and sustain a significant injury? Will the property owner’s insurance policy cover the cost of your medical care—and if not, what are your other options?
DOES THE LANDOWNER HAVE INSURANCE?
The first question you would need to answer is whether the property owner has insurance. The good news is that the majority of homeowners and businessowners have insurance in place. In fact, mortgage companies require homeowners insurance as a way to protect their investment in the home. But ultimately, the only way to find out for sure whether the property owner is insured is to ask.
TIMING IS CRITICAL
If there is an insurance policy in place, you will want to report your claim right away. Simply ask the property owner who their insurer is, and if you think there is any chance at all that your injury is a serious one, make a claim. The longer you wait to report your injury, the more suspicious the insurance company will be that your injuries resulted from something other than your visit to the subject property—and the harder it will be for you to have the claim resolved in your favor.
WHAT IF THE PROPERTY OWNER IS RELUCTANT?
In some cases, you may find that the property owner does not want to tell you the name of their insurance company. For example, the landowner may be concerned about increased insurance premiums due to a new claim. If you slip and fall on someone’s property and cannot find out who the property insurance company is, you may have no recourse but to sue the landowner. Ask an attorney for help formulating your case.
THE CLAIMS PROCESS
In some ways, filing a slip and fall insurance claim is similar to filing a claim after a car accident. Once you report your injury, the insurance company will dispatch an adjuster to determine what happened. The adjuster will likely want to talk with the property owner as well as the injured party to get both sides of the story before making their assessment.
We recommend you work with an attorney before giving any kind of statement to an insurance company. In fact, it may be beneficial to have the attorney in the room or on the phone with you to represent you in these matters.
The insurance adjuster will try to collect as much information as possible regarding your claim including any medical records you have related to the accident. Be sure to keep careful documentation of your medical and other expenses.
THE ROLE OF NEGLIGENCE
Texas is a comparative fault state, so in order to succeed on your claim, you will need to show that the landowner was more than fifty percent responsible for the accident. If you trip over your own shoelaces, that is not the property owner’s fault. But if the premises are improperly maintained and therefore unsafe, that might mean you are entitled to compensation from the landowner’s insurance company.
Some common examples of negligence include:
- Poorly maintained or poorly lit stairs
- Poorly maintained rugs, carpet, or flooring
- Premises not adequately cleaned or maintained
- Uneven pavement or cracks in the sidewalk
GET HELP IN YOUR SLIP AND FALL CASE
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, our Houston attorneys can evaluate your case and advise on the best way to proceed. Contact McLaurin Law to find out more.
To Speak with McLaurin law Representative call today.
Jason McLaurin is a founding member of McLaurin Law. He has over a decade of experience representing clients at trial, arbitration, and mediation in matters concerning insurance policyholder recovery disputes, complex commercial litigation, and catastrophic personal injury claims. He also represents businesses as outside general counsel for clients in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, technology, and professional services. He is licensed and handles matters in both Texas and Louisiana.