Slip and Falls in Private Homes: Can I Really Sue My Host?

The holiday season is nearly here, making social gatherings more common. But if you slip and fall while at someone else’s home and suffer injuries, can you still recover damages – even from your holiday host?

Slip and Fall Accident at a Private Residence

If you slip and fall at a private residence and suffer injuries, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy. Private homeowners can be held 5428946739_b9703e1925_oresponsible for the condition that caused your accident, which might include:

  • Slippery driveways
  • Unshoveled sidewalks
  • Snowy or icy stairs
  • Wet puddles on the floor from tracked-in snow
  • Entryway cluttered with shoes, boots, coats, hats, and gloves
  • Crowded conditions around the home, such as chairs placed in unfamiliar locations to accommodate a crowd

Suing a neighbor, relative, or friend over a slip and fall injury in his home might seem difficult for personal reasons. But the reality is that most homeowners have homeowners insurance, so when you sue them you are actually suing the insurance company for compensation, and unless their insurance is inadequate or your injury is very serious, your host will not have to pay for your injuries out of his pocket.

Premises Liability Law

Premises liability law will help determine whether or not a homeowner is legally responsible for a hazardous condition. These laws consider the relationship between the owner of the home and the injured victim in order to determine whether the homeowner was negligent and responsible for the accident on his property.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in someone else’s home, more than likely you were there as an invited guest, meaning that the homeowner is required to warn you about any dangers he knew or should have known about. Failure to do so might make him negligent and entitle you to compensation.

Before you brush off the incident because you think that bringing a lawsuit will negatively your relationship with the homeowner, you should carefully consider the consequences of not filing a claim, which might be paying the costs of your injury yourself. Contact the slip and fall lawyers at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys online, or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane/Flickr.