Homeowners insurance is not just for fire, falling trees, flooding and other disasters; but, also for injuries at home. Residential accidents that require a visit to the emergency room account for more than six million insurance claims each year. The homeowner's insurance covers personal injury to invited guests on the property. The more common accidents are slip and falls, dog bites, and swimming pool accidents. Contractors performing work on the property would also be covered for injury.
Slip and falls are the most likely to occur, including such scenarios as tripping over an object, sliding on a wet floor, tumbling down a stairway inside the house, or falling off of a ladder, slipping on lubricant leaked from a vehicle in the garage or driveway, stumbling over rocks or stepping in a hole outside of the house. In Kentucky, slip and falls are divided into two categories; (1) whether it happened to you, a family member or a guest invited to the home and (2) whether the incident happened because of a natural reason, an artificial reason or no reason at all. If it is you or a family member that suffered an injury, homeowner's insurance most likely will not cover it-the policy is meant to cover liability to others.
Dog bites are another reason for a personal injury claim against the homeowner's insurance policy. Some states outlaw breed profiling but the insurance company can still deny coverage if a certain breed of dog is owned. With over 43 million households owning an average 1.6 dogs, almost 40% of American households own a dog. The CDC estimates that there are about 4.5 million dog bites a year with one in five requiring an emergency room visit. Insurance companies have the same goal that you do-protection from liability! Make sure when purchasing a homeowner's insurance policy that they know of any dog(s) you have and the breed, otherwise, if someone on your property is bitten and you haven't claimed the animal, you have no coverage to protect yourself.
Other accidents that can cause personal injury claims include swimming pool drownings or falling off the ladder, food poisoning, drug overdose caused by medicine being left out or easily accessible, burns caused by frayed wires, boiling water or space heaters, and cuts caused by jagged lids, loose flooring or exposed nails and broken glass.
Minor injuries can usually be settled out of court, but if your injuries are more severe and you have outstanding medical bills and time off of work, you need a skilled Kentucky attorney to deal with the insurance company for you. You need to notify the homeowner of your injuries, in many cases they will already be clear and may have happened in front of them, and ask for information about their homeowner policy. The insurance company will try to get you to take a low settlement, but your attorney, armed with your medical records, witness statements and other evidence will be able to get you a much higher amount than you could get on your own.