Homeowners- like all property owners- have a duty to keep their homes hazard free for visitors. While some accidents cannot be foreseen, others occur because of negligence. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in someone’s home, you might be able to file a claim against the homeowner’s insurance or pursue a lawsuit to make a recovery for your injuries.
This concept falls under the general legal term of “Premises Liability,” which says that homeowners must maintain their properties in such a way that will keep guests safe. This includes clearing walkways of snow and ice, and securing floor mats and loose cords.
Premises Liability Law
The relationship between the homeowner and the injured party plays an integral role in premises liability law. If you have been injured at someone’s home, chances are you are on their property as a guest. If you have their permission to be in their home, the homeowner is obligated to inform you of the dangers he or she knows about, or should reasonably know about, including an unstable handrail or broken step.
However, if you are trespassing, then you are not entitled to the same duty of care. As a homeowner, your only duty is to keep your property reasonably free of any hazardous conditions that might injure an adult trespasser. If a child trespasses on your property to gain access to a pool or swing set, as the homeowner, you could be held responsible for the child’s injuries. You could be held responsible for injuries caused by any “attractive nuisance” that draws a child to your property.
Therefore, premises liability law varies depending on the homeowner’s relationship to the injured person. The three main categories of people who might be on your property include:
- These are friends, family members, and other guests who have no contractual relationship with the homeowner.
- These are people who have been invited onto the homeowner’s property for a purpose, such as mail carriers, construction workers, and repair persons. The invitation is implied.
- These are people who have come onto the property without the homeowner’s expressed consent. Even though a salesperson may not be a welcomed guest, homeowners must still keep their property reasonably safe for them. Homeowners are not allowed to set traps for trespassers.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents at Home
Many different scenarios can contribute to a slip and fall accident at home. Some of the most frequently seen include:
- Snow and ice accumulated on paths and driveways
- Improperly stored equipment, such as ladders, etc.
- House construction and yard work not roped off
- Cracked or uneven steps and pavement
- Inadequately lit stairs or walkways
- Improperly maintained home interior, such as broken or missing railings and uneven steps
If you sue a homeowner for compensation for medical expenses, it is typically their homeowner’s insurance that you will be suing. Except in cases of inadequate homeowner’s coverage or severe injuries, the homeowner does not have to compensate you for your injuries.
Contact Our Pueblo Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to speak to an experienced Pueblo slip and fall accident lawyer immediately. Your attorney will review your case & investigate your accident to determine if the homeowner’s negligence contributed to or directly caused your injury. Call Pueblo attorneys at Smith & Smith, today for a FREE CONSULTATION – (719) 544-0062.