Big storms can cause a lot of damage, to both property and people, and those who seek medical treatment for injuries as a result of a storm might also be seeking coverage from a variety of insurance policies. These include medical insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Depending on where the accident occurred, an injured patient may be trying to make a “slip and fall” claim against the person who owns the property, which could affect how a doctor can provide treatment or medical advice.

A fall can result in very serious injuries—broken bones, sprains, bruising, dislocation and even concussions or other head trauma—and anyone who suffers a fall should schedule a check-up with his or her doctor to confirm that everything is in working order. Trauma sustained in a fall can be hidden, and may appear only on an x-ray or after time has passed.

How Does a Slip and Fall Claim Work With Storm in Progress?

Typically, a person can file a slip and fall claim if he or she is injured as a result of a homeowner’s negligence in taking care of the building or grounds that belong to him. For example, if you visit your friend’s house and slip in a puddle of water caused by a leaky pipe in her basement, you may have grounds to receive compensation for your injuries and any necessary related medical care paid out from the homeowner’s insurance policy.

A property owner has a reasonable responsibility to provide a safe environment for anyone on his property. This includes shoveling snow and de-icing paths after a winter snow, as well as fixing up potential hazards such as leaky pipes, cracked walkways, uneven or wobbly steps, and more. If the injured person can prove that the homeowner had reasonable knowledge of the danger and failed to remove it, typically the homeowner’s insurance will have to pay for the related medical bills. However, some claims for injuries sustained on another person’s property can be denied, and one such scenario involves the “storm in progress” defense.

The “storm in progress” defense states that a landowner can be excused from liability if another person slips on snow or ice, or in puddles that have been caused as a result of a recent storm, unless enough time has passed that the landowner would have reasonably been able to clear his property. The storm in progress defense allows homeowners a chance to clear their property, but also puts injured parties in the difficult position of not knowing what medical treatment might be covered.

Get a Professional Opinion

If your patient was injured as part of a fall on another person’s property, his treatment plan may be dependent on the coverage provided by the homeowner’s insurance policy, pending a slip and fall claim. This, in turn, could affect how you handle treatment, and you should be sure to protect yourself against any potentially negative outcomes. For more information on insurance defense, slips and falls, and storm in progress claims, contact a Florida insurance defense attorney at Lubell Rosen today.