Not every slip and fall accident occurs on the sidewalk downtown. Sometimes, you’re injured at your friend’s house or while playing football in your neighbor’s backyard. What happens next relies on several factors that vary from case to case, so be sure to contact an Evansville personal injury attorney for the best advice and help on filing a personal injury claim for your slip and fall.
The following are a few questions to help you determine if you should consider filing a claim after you’ve been injured at someone’s home.
Is the Homeowner Liable?
First and foremost, you need to figure out if your injury was self-caused or a result of the homeowner’s negligence.
For example, if you spilled a drink and subsequently fell because of the wet floor, the homeowner is not liable for your injury. However, if there was no railing on an open staircase and you fell off of it onto the floor below, the homeowner might be liable.
If the homeowner is liable for your injury, you should contact their insurance company right away. Promptly reporting the accident makes it more legitimate in the eyes of insurance adjusters.
You should also seek medical treatment for your injury. At the very least, you will receive summary of your injuries and a medical opinion of whether or not they were caused or aggravated by your slip and fall. Seeking medical treatment will likely also speed your recovery with a personal treatment plan.
Does the Homeowner Have Insurance?
While it’s likely that any given homeowner will have appropriate homeowner’s insurance, it’s not guaranteed. People who own their houses free of mortgages are not required to have this insurance. However, most residents paying a mortgage are required to have some kind of property insurance.
What to Do If a Homeowner Refuses to Cooperate
The only way to figure out the homeowner’s insurance information is to ask. However, some homeowners may be reluctant to share this information with you because it could influence their policy, sometimes dramatically.
In certain situations, homeowners may lose their policy by filing just one claim with their insurance provider. Because of this, they can be understandably nervous about letting you report the incident.
If you have been injured in someone’s home due to their negligence, and you believe they have insurance and are purposefully hiding contact information from you, the only way to force their hand is to pursue legal action against them.
Can You File a Claim?
Slip and fall claims work just like car accident ones. You file a report with the homeowner’s insurance company, then they will contact both the homeowner and you for a statement of what happened.
Be careful when an insurance adjuster asks to record your statement of what happens. You are not legally obligated to do this, and very few good things can come of leaving a recorded message with the other party’s insurance company. They can use this statement to invalidate later testimonies, even if you misspoke during that interview and remembered the truth later on.
After hearing both sides, reviewing your medical bills and lost wages, and approving the claim with the company, the insurance adjuster will offer you a settlement for your expenses. Be aware that accepting a settlement will remove all future possibility of getting more money, so you should wait to accept until you have finished treating your injuries and know the full extent of your medical costs.
Help From an Evansville Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in someone else’s home in Evansville due to their negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical treatment and time off work. In general, hiring a local personal injury attorney is the best way to file a slip and fall claim. Doing so can save you time and effort and can strengthen your case because the attorney will know how to handle the insurance company.
Contact Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation of your slip and fall case.