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Insurance Issues after a Slip and Fall Injury

Pursuing Insurance Benefits after a Slip and Fall Injury

If you are hurt as a customer on commercial property, or in a slip and fall at a friend or neighbors house, where can you turn for compensation for your injuries? Will you have to identify the company provider homeowner’s or property insurance? Can you simply rely on the at-fault party’s insurance company to cover your losses?

Step One: Get the Care You Need

The most important thing to do in the aftermath of a slip and fall injury is to get the medical attention you need. When you go to the hospital, urgent care facility or to your family doctor, you can provide the caregiver with information about your own health insurance policy. The caregiver will typically file a claim with your caregiver, which may either deny the claim or approve it and seek reimbursement from the at-fault party or his/her insurer.

Step Two: Determine Whether There Is Liability Insurance

It’s important to understand, though, that your health insurance company will only reimburse you for actual medical expenses. You won’t be able to pursue any benefits for lost wages, loss of consortium or companionship, or pain and suffering from your insurer, unless there’s an actual medical expense incurred.

To that end, you want to determine whether the property owner, landlord and/or tenant had insurance to cover personal injury. With a private residence, that type of loss will typically be covered by either a homeowner’s policy or a general liability policy (often known as an “umbrella” policy). If there’s a mortgage on the home, there’s a good chance there’s also homeowner’s insurance, as the lender will typically require it. The only way to find out, though, is to ask the homeowner.

With a commercial building, the owner of the property may have liability insurance, and there’s a good chance that the owner of any business on the premises will also have liability insurance.

Regardless of where you were hurt, you should notify the property owner, as well as any insurer of the property, as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that the insurer will seek to attribute your accident to some other cause.

Step Three: File a Claim

It’s usually not a good idea to rely on the property owner to file a claim on your behalf. You will probably have to contact the insurance company directly and take the appropriate steps yourself to initiate the claim. Once you do, the insurer will likely assign an adjuster, who will interview all witnesses (including you) and make a determination of whether a claim should be paid, and how much should be paid.

Contact Attorney Michael J. Hood

For a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (302) 777-1000. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no cost for your first consultation.

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