If you accidentally injure someone while driving your car, your car insurance will kick in to pay compensation to the victim. But what happens if someone is injured while walking on your property? For example, a customer might slip and fall inside a store or in the parking lot, or a guest could be injured in your home.
This is where premises liability insurance comes in. These insurance policies pay compensation to victims who are injured on your premises accidentally. These policies provide peace of mind and ensure that innocent victims have compensation to cover their medical bills and lost wages.
Types of Premises Liability Insurance
Many people and entities want premises liability insurance, and different products have been created for each. Here are some common examples:
- People who own homes usually get homeowners’ insurance. If you took out a mortgage, then your lender probably requires it.
- Someone who rents an apartment can get renter’s insurance. Unfortunately, few renters get a policy.
- A business usually gets a business liability insurance policy that will cover accidents that have occurred on the premises. The state usually requires business to have a policy.
You should contact insurance agents to check how much a policy will cost you. You should also discuss how much insurance you want. Generally, the more insurance you get, the better. If you are sued, then the policy will pay out compensation and should protect your other assets.
Now imagine you did not have insurance. Someone who was injured in your home could sue you and, if they win, seize assets that you own. Someone whose expenses exceed your insurance policy might also sue you, which is why getting a sizeable policy is usually your best bet.
What to Look for In a Premises Liability Insurance Policy
Not all insurance policies are the same. You definitely want to read the fine print and ask an insurance agent any questions that you have. Contact multiple insurers and ask to read a sample policy before deciding. Some provide much more protection to property owners.
For example, some policies will pay for a lawyer to represent you in the event you are sued. This is a terrific benefit, since defense attorneys charge very high fees. Defending a slip and fall case could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Your attorney can not only defend you in court but also negotiate a settlement with the victim so you can avoid a trial altogether.
Look for Exclusions in Your Policy
Policies will not cover every injury that occurs in your home or business. For example, if you intentionally attacked someone, then a policy will not cover it. Usually, these policies only cover accidents, not intentional actions.
If you are buying a homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy, then look to see if there are exclusions related to dogs. Some policies will not cover certain dangerous breeds that have a propensity to bite people, such as pit bulls. You want to know about these exclusions ahead of time so you can find a policy that is more appropriate.
What to Know if You are Injured
If you slipped and fell in a business or on private land, you also need to understand the premise owner’s liability insurance. You should ask the property owner who their insurer is and get a phone number. An insurance agent will want to talk to you about the accident to get your side of the story.
Many people are intimidated by insurance agents, which is why it is best to have a lawyer represent you. Your attorney can help value how much your injuries are worth and then negotiate with the liability insurer for a fair settlement. Your lawyer can also act as the go-between, standing between you and the insurance company.
You will probably need to submit medical bills and proof of lost income directly to the insurer, which is an annoying task when you are in pain. Your attorney can make sure you pull everything together and submit it in a timely fashion.
Contact a Georgia Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, please contact us today. Our attorneys can analyze your case to determine whether you have a lawsuit. Under Georgia law, you can only sue if a property owner was careless, which is difficult to analyze on your own. Fortunately, we offer to meet with injured members of the public for a consultation. Call us today or send us an online message.