Can You Recover Compensation if You Slip and Fall on a Friend’s Property?

Man helping wife who fell down on floor concept

Slip and fall accidents are extremely common — and unfortunately, they often result in injuries that cause the victim to incur substantial medical bills. While slip and falls resulting in hospitalization could happen anywhere, filing a personal injury claim can be particularly uncomfortable if the accident occurred at a friend’s house. However, there are still a few options you may have to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained that won’t cause your friends to incur any costs directly.

Who is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident on a Friend’s Property if They Rent?

Most people wouldn’t want to take legal action against friends after slipping and falling on their property. But the compensation you could recover might be crucial to pay your medical bills and reimburse you for any loss of earnings in connection with time lost from work. Importantly, even if your injury occurred at a friend’s house, it doesn’t always mean that he or she is the party who is legally liable.

If your friend rents an apartment or does not own the property on which you fell, the landlord might be held accountable. A landlord is generally responsible for the common areas of an apartment building and can be held liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition that they knew — or should have known — about and failed to repair. The landlord may also be responsible for a hazardous condition created. Common areas for which a landlord is responsible can include the elevators, lobby, stairwells, foyers, and any other parts of the building open to all tenants and their guests.

In the event you slipped and fell on a spill inside your friends’ apartment, or they rent the house at which your injury occurred, renter’s insurance might cover your damages. You should ask your friends whether they have this type of policy and obtain the contact information for the insurance company to make a claim.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover a Claim for Personal Injury?

If your friends own the property on which you fell, you may be relieved to know that they usually won’t be held financially responsible for your damages. Rather, their homeowner’s insurance will cover these costs up to the policy limit. In other words, your friend would not have to pay out of pocket for the damages associated with your injury claim, including your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other costs.

Although most homeowner’s insurance claims settle at or below the policy limit, there can be situations in which an injury victim’s damages exceed this amount. In such cases, an “umbrella” provision that provides extra protection might kick in. However, if there is no additional coverage, the homeowner may be financially responsible for any amount above their policy limit.

What Compensation is Awarded for a Slip and Fall Accident?

If your friend doesn’t have an applicable insurance policy — or the insurance company refuses to pay out — it may be necessary to file a premises liability lawsuit for a slip and fall accident to recover your damages. But before you can seek compensation, it’s critical to document your injuries and collect evidence regarding liability. Your medical records, photos of the defective condition, and witness testimony are all essential pieces of evidence in proving your claim.

In many cases, a slip and fall accident can cause a victim to require extensive medical treatment and ongoing medical care. If you prevail in a Pennsylvania slip and fall lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover monetary compensation for the following:

  • Unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket costs in connection with medical care
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering

No matter how much evidence you’ve collected, an injury victim needs to prove that the parties responsible for the slip and fall were negligent in order to hold them legally liable in a premises liability lawsuit. This requires showing that the property owner, landlord, or another accountable party (1) had a legal duty to maintain a safe premises; (2) the duty was breached by their failure to remedy the condition; (3) the breach caused the victim’s injuries; and (4) caused him/her to suffer damages.

Notably, Pennsylvania follows the rule of “modified comparative negligence” to determine the amount of damages you are awarded in a premises liability lawsuit. Any compensation you’re awarded would be reduced by your proportion of fault. Under the law, you would be precluded from recovering anything at all if you are more than 50 percent to blame for the accident.

Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Premises Liability Attorney

If you slipped and fell on a friend’s property and sustained an injury, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights, options, and legal remedies. The personal injury attorneys at Berman & Associates are dedicated to providing reliable counsel and diligent representation to clients throughout Pennsylvania for a wide variety of personal injury matters and premises liability lawsuits. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery Counties, as well as in the City of Philadelphia. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Categories: Personal Injury