For obvious reasons, it’s hard to predict an event that would lead you to file a personal injury lawsuit. Generally you’re a cautious person and you don’t go looking for trouble, so you never expected such a severe injury. But just because you’re cautious doesn’t mean everyone you come in contact with will be.
Even the most careful individuals can get in accidents. Maybe it’s because you went to a neighbor’s house to return a piece of misdelivered mail. When the rotten steps leading to his door collapsed, you broke your ankle. Maybe a neighborhood dog got out of its fence, came to your yard and severely bit you on the leg. Maybe you were out walking after a snowstorm and a property owner along the way neglected to clear his sidewalk, causing you to slip and break an arm.
Now you’re hurt and you’re facing a long list of expenses, just starting with a visit to the emergency room. Even if you’re not hospitalized, you’ll have to miss several days of work. Plus you might need surgery down the road, maybe even rehabilitation. Maybe you’re a construction worker and you’re going to require months of physical therapy for your broken ankle. Maybe you’ve experienced severe scarring from the dog bite and are worried that will hurt your modeling career.
It’s all because of someone else’s negligence or poor planning that you’re going to lose so much money. At this point, you feel that you have no choice but to pursue a lawsuit. Few people really want to go that route. And it’s only natural for you to worry about how the responsible party is going to come up with the money to make things right for you.
However, if the person accountable for the accident has home insurance, he or she might have some help when it comes to paying for your many expenses. It goes without saying that most homeowners have home insurance – mortgage companies require it in nearly every circumstance. If the responsible party has standard home insurance, part of the coverage typically included in his or her policy could qualify them for help if you decide to sue.
Personal liability protection is reserved for exactly this type of scenario. It makes the policyholder eligible to file a claim when facing a lawsuit. If you’ve slipped and fallen on a person’s property or been bitten by his or her dog or some other scenario involving negligence, the homeowner might be able to compensate you using insurance. Liability protection can be used for legal defense fees, as well.
How much coverage is available? It depends. Typical home insurance policies generally allot $100,000 in coverage for each claim occurrence. For the average person, that’s not a small amount of money. Some homeowners might have even higher coverage limits – up to $500,000 – that will qualify them for additional claim money. Some might even have purchased an umbrella policy – separate coverage that will kick in once personal liability limits are reached. Umbrella policies start with $1 million limits, and homeowners can purchase as much as $5 million in coverage.
You’re not a bad person if you decide to sue. You’re entitled to recover money when you’re injured and it’s someone else’s fault. You owe it to yourself – and your family – to get help in this situation.
Before you worry about how the responsible party is going to pay for your expenses, make sure you get the medical attention you need. Afterward, find reputable legal representation and decide how to proceed. Then you’ll be able to look into how home insurance might be able to help the responsible person come up with the compensation you need to make things right again.
This article was contributed by Shannon Casey, writer for HomeInsurance.com. With a background in comedy and playwriting, Shannon branched into blogging and marketing in 2011, writing for several national brands. She graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, in 2010 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts.
When to Consult an Injury Attorney
If your injuries are serious resulting in missed work, surgery or therapy, you may wish to speak with an injury attorney to insure your rights are protected. The Farber Law Group, a law firm located in Bellevue, Washington, is an expert in premise liability and has more than 30 years representing victims of slip and fall accidents.
Regardless of whether your accident occurred at a personal residence, a restaurant, a cruise ship or a place of business, we are here to help. Call us at 1-800-244-9087 or use our Contact Form.
Premise liability and slip and fall accidents