Homeowner's insurance plans in California cover injuries to guests within the property. The coverage provides protection against claims alleging the homeowner or a resident caused such injuries and is therefore liable. Claims can be filed directly with the insurance company or as a liability lawsuit.
What Kind of Injuries Are Covered?
Homeowners insurance can cover a vast variety of injuries, including:
- Wrongful Death: California law allows the family of a deceased person to file a wrongful death claim up to two years from the date of death. The claim generally covers a loss of life caused by negligence.
- Catastrophic Injury: Catastrophic injuries have a long-lasting negative impact on the life of the injured party. They usually involve some kind of permanent disability affecting income and quality of life. Common examples can include neck and spinal trauma and nerve damage.
- Slip and Fall: Slip and fall accidents are probably the most frequent form of personal injury claims. Injuries from such falls can include sprains, broken bones, or worse. Guests implied invitees such as a mailman, and in some cases, trespassers can all file claims for injuries caused by falling.
- Dog bites: California is a strict liability state. Homeowners with dogs are responsible if their dog bites another person. There are no requirements of negligence or awareness of danger.
What Will It Pay?
Each insurance policy contains specific details about coverage amounts and relevant limits. Insurance companies are motivated to help the homeowner effectively fight lawsuits. As a result, the company will likely pay to provide defense attorneys and cover court costs.
Liability insurance will usually cover the most common results of personal injuries. Injured parties may receive payment for medical costs, income loss, and other damages like pain and suffering.
The limits to coverage are also determined by the specific policy. For example, a policy may stipulate that each injured person may receive up to $200,000 for all damages due to a single accident. Policies may further be limited by a total amount payable to all parties per accident.
If the amount of the final damages goes beyond the coverage amount, the homeowner may be responsible for the difference. For example, the court may award an injured person $250,000, but the homeowner's insurance only covers $200,000. In that case, the homeowner would be personally responsible for the additional $50,000.
What Are Some Typical Causes of Homeowner Liable Injuries?
Homeowners are responsible for correcting or providing warnings for unsafe conditions. They may also be liable for injuries created by negligence, even if they were not directly aware of the danger.
Common causes for liable injuries include:
- Improperly marked wet floors due to mopping or spills.
- Sidewalks or driveways covered in ice or snow.
- Cracked or uneven floors or other surfaces.
- Carpets or rugs with ripples or other tripping hazards.
- Unsecured, unmonitored, or child-accessible swimming pools.
- Dangerous and unmarked construction areas.
- Faulty or exposed electrical wiring.
- Unmonitored or dangerous animals.
Homeowner liability cases can be incredibly complicated. Contact an attorney today to discuss the details of your situation.