Home Insurance Claims vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits

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By J. Silvio Mascolo, Esq.

Home Insurance: Personal Injury Claims vs. Lawsuits

Industry statistics reveal that more than 85% of all homeowners in the U.S. have home insurance. The majority of those policies do cover personal liability, but at just 1.8%, such claims account for a sliver of the total claims made each year. Nevertheless, if you have medical expenses due to an injury on someone else’s property, personal injury attorneys often advise filing a home insurance claim or even a lawsuit in order to be made whole.

Does Home Insurance Cover a Personal Injury?

Homeowner’s insurance policies can cover personal liability in personal injury cases. Not all do, however. They must have a component generally known as personal liability coverage. In the state of New Jersey, the vast majority of policies do have this aspect. Coverage can be as much as $100,000 unless the homeowner specifically sought out additional protection. However, this varies greatly from one policy to the next and can be much lower than that amount.

It is also worth noting that not all injuries are valid reasons for a home insurance claim. There must often be some demonstrable neglect on the part of the homeowner. In addition, the victim must be a guest of the household. Injured household members usually cannot make a claim.

What If the Homeowner Was Not Negligent?

Many policies have a medical payments coverage rider that will pay out regardless of fault. The amount of coverage in these scenarios generally only ranges from $1,000 to $5,000.

Can Home Insurance Cover an Off-Site Injury?

Yes. Home insurance is designed to protect the personal assets of the homeowner and, if applicable, the interests of the mortgage company. If a resident of the home is negligent and causes a personal injury, a claim can be made against the home insurance policy. According to personal injury attorneys, among the most prominent cases are those involving dog bites while walking a dog or at a dog park.

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How Do You Initiate a Personal Injury Claim?

If you want to handle the claim yourself, you can ask the homeowner for the insurance information. You can then contact the insurance company, which will assign you a claim adjuster. But attorneys often advise against this approach. The homeowner may be unwilling to provide his or her information. An adjuster will generally want a statement, which could be used against you later. There are indeed a number of potential pitfalls that a skilled and experienced lawyer can help you avoid.

Do Claims Pay Out Before or After Medical Expenses Are Due?

It depends on the specifics of the claim, and either scenario is possible. However, a lawyer will often recommend waiting until you know the full extent of your financial obligations before negotiating.

How Long Do Claims Take?

Again, it depends. If the coverage maxes out at $25,000 and your medical bills and aftercare expenses will obviously exceed that, for instance, then a claim can finalize in a short period. But often, a much longer period is required in order to have a clear understanding of the expenses.

When Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Necessary?

It is worth noting that lawsuits are not common when it comes to home insurance claims involving personal injuries. Most of these claims and negotiations are rather straightforward. The most common reason a lawsuit is filed is to compel the homeowner to provide his or her insurance information.

Local Representation in Personal Injury Cases

If you or a loved one has been injured at someone else’s home, the law firm of Rebenack, Aronow & Mascolo is here to assist you. RAM Law has managed numerous personal injury cases in New Jersey involving home insurance, and we highly recommend that you consult with a personal injury attorney prior to meeting with an insurance adjuster or taking any other steps. Schedule your free case evaluation today. You can contact us online, or you can call our Freehold office at (732) 828-2234, our New Brunswick location at (732) 247-3600 or our Somerville site at (908) 448-2560.

Contact Our Office

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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