There are few things worse than being personally sued. We have all heard cases where a friend of a friend has lost their home and savings due to someone becoming hurt on their property. Defending yourself from a property liability lawsuit can be a very expensive, stressful process. Not to mention the guilt you will feel if your negligence caused someone to become seriously injured on your property.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being sued for someone becoming injured on your property, you owe it to yourself to talk with a qualified, experienced attorney as soon as possible. Even though you most likely have homeowner’s insurance, your best interests may not be aligned with those of the insurance company, and it is imperative that you have your own dedicated legal representation.
Of course, the best defense against a property liability lawsuit is prevention. There are many things you can do to protect your home and property and set up safe conditions that minimize the risk of harm for any visitors to your property, invited or not.
First and foremost, identify and fix/secure any dangerous areas.
Walkways hazards are the cause of many injuries. Here are a few tips for keeping walkways clear and safe:
- Keep walkways free of debris and clutter.
- Wipe/clean up any spills or slippery areas as soon as you see them.
- Ensure you install proper lighting.
Stairways/Stairwells injuries can be very serious. Instead of just falling to the floor, a person can be much more injured if they topple 10 or 20 feet down a flight of stairs. To help keep stairs safer:
- Make sure you have a solid hand rail.
- A non-slip pad at the tops and bottoms of stairs can help prevent slips.
- Stairs at the top or bottom of the landing or carpeting the entire staircase is safest.
- Keep staircases clutter free.
Swimming Pools are a common source of danger. To minimize risk:
- Install a fence around your pool. Some states and/or insurance companies require this by law.
- Make sure swimming pool gates are self-closing and locking.
- Remove ladders, nearby trees, trash cans or other items that a person could use to climb over the fence.
- Lock up any pool chemicals.
General Maintenance and Prevention can go a long way toward keeping people safe on your property and avoiding a potential lawsuit. All property owners or managers should regularly:
- Inspect the entire property for dangers and any new sources of potential damage.
- Fix or clearly mark any hazards as soon as you notice them. The longer a hazard has been present, the worse the liability scenario.
- Turn on lights at night.
- Before visitors arrive, take a quick look around your property for any potential hazards such as water spills or debris that is newly present.
- Also, consider installing a fence around your property.
- Cameras can also aid in the investigation of any potential property liability lawsuit.
If someone is injured on your property, you need to find the best defense you can. Law firms have experience successfully representing property owners in liability lawsuits. Call today for a consultation.