Personal Injuries at Home: Who Pays?
You attend a retirement party for your brother. During the party you fall down the stairs and break your ankle. Or, you pick up your son at his friend’s where they’re playing basketball in the driveway and decided to shoot a few hoops. During the game, you collide with another player and sprain your wrist. Or, you’re dropping off something at a customer’s home when their dog gets loose, biting your leg and breaking the skin.
As careful as we try to be, things don’t always go according to plan. At Mulligan Epstein Attorneys, we’re well aware of this fact—our personal injury lawyers have heard these stories and many like others like them. Once an accident happens, however, don’t just chalk it up to bad luck and pull out your wallet. There are other avenues that may be available to you, which—if followed—could save you a lot of money.
Homeowners’ Insurance to the Rescue
When most people think of homeowners’ insurance, they assume it’s for things like floods and fires. While this is true, such policies usually cover much more. If you file a claim for something that happens to your home, it’s known as a first party claim. If, on the other hand, you are injured at someone else’s home, you can file a claim against their homeowners’ insurance and, depending on your injury and the situation, receive some amount of compensation. This is known as a third party claim.
The details of this type of coverage are located in the personal liability and medical payments (or “MedPay”) section of the insurance policy. There are two different ways someone’s insurance could pay for your injury.
Personal Liability: If you are injured in someone’s home and believe your injury is due to their negligence, you could file a lawsuit. Depending on how much coverage they purchased, the personal liability portion of their policy will cover a portion of your medical expenses. This money can go toward all losses associated with your injury, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Medical Payments (or “MedPay”): If you are injured in someone’s home and simply want them to pay your medical bills without actually suing them, this portion of their policy will usually pay up to $1,000 of your medical bills. MedPay is typically no-fault insurance, which means it doesn’t matter whether the injury was due to their negligence.
Guests Only: It’s important to note that homeowners’ insurance will not cover injuries sustained by family members injured in their own home—only those of guests who have been invited over. While it’s important to have homeowners’ insurance for many reasons, it’s equally important to ensure that everyone who lives in your home is protected by private medical insurance in case of accidents and illness.
If you suffer an injury in someone else’s home, it’s wise to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you deal with the legal issues surrounding your lawsuit or claim. At Mulligan Epstein Attorneys, our lawyers can ensure you receive what you’re owed and that your long term financial stability and safety remains unscathed. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case.