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Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Personal Injury Claims?

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Posted By DAM Firm | June 16 2021 | Personal Injury

If someone sustains an injury at a person’s home or property, who ends up paying compensation to the injury victim? Will the injury that can be responsible for paying their own medical bills? Will the home or property owner be responsible for paying compensation?
These are excellent questions that are asked quite often by injury victims and homeowners throughout California. The reality is that homeowners’ insurance policies will typically kick in to cover any personal injury claim that is filed as a result of an incident on the property. Here, we want to discuss how homeowners’ insurance claims work in these situations.

Most Common Homeowners’ Insurance Injury Claims

There are various ways that individuals can end up sustaining injuries on another person’s property. Some of the most common ways in which claims against homeowners’ insurance policies arise include the following:

  • Dog bite incidents
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Intoxication of a guest
  • Injured domestic workers
  • Injuries caused by inadequate maintenance

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the ways that injuries can occur on another person’s property. If you have any questions about whether or not you have a valid claim, please reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer in California as soon as possible.

Injury Liability Coverage in the Homeowners’ Insurance Policy

The injury liability coverage on a person’s homeowners’ insurance policy will typically cover all of an injury victim’s losses associated with the injury. This includes their:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses

The homeowners’ insurance injury liability coverage will pay for these expenses up to the limits set forth under the policy. For example, if the homeowners’ insurance policy has $200,000 in liability coverage, the injury victim could recover up to that amount. In general, most insurance claims end up settling for an amount that is at or below the policy limits.

However, in cases where an injury victim has suffered a serious or permanent injury, the claim may indeed go above the policy limits. In these cases, the injury victim may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the homeowner, which can leave the homeowner personally liable for the amount in excess of the policy.

Will This Coverage Include Legal Defense?

When a person has a homeowners’ insurance policy, this will come with the benefit of having legal defense provided on their behalf to represent them against any claim brought by an injury victim. This is a benefit that not many people think about when they get homeowners’ insurance policies. The insurance carrier will typically appoint or pay for a personal injury attorney to handle any lawsuit that arises due to an underlying injury incident on the person’s property.

When someone sustains an injury at another person’s home, they will file their claim against the homeowners’ insurance policy, not directly against the homeowner. In these cases, the injury victim will typically have to show that the homeowner somehow failed to exercise reasonable care when keeping their property free from hazards.

However, there are cases where negligence will not have to be proven in order for the injury victim to recover compensation. The most likely example of this in California will arise due to dog bite incidents that occur at a person’s home. California is governed by a “strict liability” dog bite law, which means that a person can usually make a claim for their losses under a dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy without having to prove that the dog owner was at fault.

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