It’s a lot of fun going to and from the homes of friends and family during the holiday season. We engage in memorable activities, feast upon delicious dishes, and follow or establish new traditions. The last thing expected is an accident to dampen holiday festivities. What happens when an accident happens? The following Q&A will provide some insights into holiday accidents in the home.
Q. What happens if someone gets injured in my home during the holidays?
Visitors to your home should expect to be safe from hazards, or be made aware of known hazards on the property. You are bound to inform visitors about known hazards or defects on the property, but are not obligated to inspect the property before visitors come, or repair known defects. Such hazards can include inadequate lighting, flooring issues, and iced entryways.
When someone gets injured at your home, they will most likely file a claim with their insurance company to repair cost damages. Liability in most states is conditioned upon the status of the injured party.
Q. What does my insurance company do?
Liability will first be established. In the case you’re found liable, and depending upon your coverage, your insurance company may cover most or all damages to the injured party. Homeowner’s insurance covers most liability, but does not cover intentional acts on behalf of a household member, such as assault.
Q. What are the different types of coverages?
There are two predominant types of coverage relating to the injury of visitors in your home. The first is Medical Payments to Others coverage, and the second is Personal Liability coverage. Neither applies to injured members of the household.
Medical Payments to Others coverage applies to the costs of injuries to a guest in your house, such as the reimbursement of a hospital bill. This coverage is regardless of who is at fault. The limit for this coverage is generally very low, between $1,000 and $5,000, and varies between states, and insurance companies. Medical Payments to Others does not cover property damage.
Personal Liability coverage protects against the costs associated with bodily injury, and liable property damage. Depending on the policy, coverage can include hospital expenses, loss of income from work, rehabilitation, and more. The limit for Personal Liability coverage is high, and is generally between $100-500k.
Q. What happens if an intentional act was performed on behalf of a member of the household?
If an intentional act was performed on behalf of a member of the household, the injured party could seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. In this case it is advised to seek a personal injury attorney as well.
Q. What if I rent?
Renter’s insurance provides the same coverage as homeowner’s insurance. If on the wall about whether or not to buy a renter’s insurance policy, ask yourself if you’re equipped to pay for the medical bills, rehabilitation, loss of work, etc. of an injured party in your rented space. Landlord’s insurance does not cover the injuries of your guests.
If an accident happens in your home during the holiday season, make sure the injured party receives medical attention as needed, first. Be sure to take pictures to document the conditions. This is valuable if confusion exists, or if a false claim is made by the injured party.
Create memories, stay safe, and have fun. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from the 1LAW attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff.