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Comparative fault can end a claim against a homeowner’s policy

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Premises liability defense

Most homeowners in California carry insurance on their property. Lenders typically require insurance on properties financed with the mortgage. Even after someone pays off the financing on their home, they will likely pay for a homeowner’s insurance policy to protect them against crime, weather-related property damage and liability from visitors.

Liability coverage can prove very important if someone gets hurt while visiting your piece of real estate. Property owners are generally responsible for injuries that occur on their premises, especially if poor maintenance or negligence played a role in the situation. Dog bites, slip-and-falls and sundry other injuries can lead to premises liability insurance claims and even civil lawsuits if insurance isn’t enough.

If someone who recently came to visit your home wants to file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy or take you to court for their injuries, there are numerous ways to protect yourself from the losses that claim could cause. Showing that the other party contributed to their injury is a viable strategy.

California has strict comparative fault rules

Every state has laws regarding negligence and personal fault for injuries. Sometimes, people who are partially to blame for their own injury can still demand financial compensation. Other times, state law limits their right to recovery.

In California, the state applies a strict comparative fault rule. Any personal role in an incident can bar someone from seeking compensation. if you can conclusively show that the person who visited your property and got hurt contributed to their own injury in any way, that could be a viable defense strategy.

Maybe they had their phone in their hands when they tripped and fell down your stairs, or perhaps they showed up at the wrong house and pounded on your door because they had too much to drink, which is why your dog became aggressive and bit them despite usually being a well-behaved animal.

When there is proof that someone caused their own injuries or contributed to them, they will potentially lose their right to take legal action in civil court and may have less negotiating power when it comes to an insurance claim as a result. Identifying potential defense strategies for major insurance claims can help limit your losses if someone got hurt while visiting your property.