As a property owner, it can be challenging to know who you can trust to work on your home or commercial property. Something as simple as another person slipping on your sidewalk can cost you thousands of dollars in a personal injury lawsuit, so you want to be careful with who you invite to your home.
How can you protect yourself from personal injury claims on your own property? Here are some of the things you need to be aware of, and what insurance options you have to protect yourself.
Keep Your Yard Hazard Free
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their yard free of hazards. A large crack in your driveway, ice on the porch steps, and large trees falling over can all be serious hazards If someone injures themselves on your property, they can legally sue you for damages. As such, homeowners need to be aware of the various hazards on their property and take the right precautions to protect their guests.
There are a number of common hazards homeowners should know about. Owning a pool can increase your insurance rates, as they are one of the most common safety hazards. If you have a dog, you need to take the right steps to warn people about the pet, especially if it is territorial or prone to biting. Other common reasons for personal injury lawsuits against property owners include a failure to adequately maintain property, poor lighting, broken structures and facilities, falling objects, lack of security, lack of fencing, improper signage or lack of signage, slippery surfaces, and faulty pool equipment.
It is important to perform routine yard maintenance to prevent yourself from becoming the victim of a lawsuit. Trim your trees and do not allow them to grow to a height where wind can easily blow them over. If you hire anyone to work on your home, always verify their liability insurance. This is the best way to make sure they can pay for any accidents or problems that might occur when they are on your property.
Also, remember that there are certain cases where trespassers are not protected by the law: if a homeowner can prove a person was illegally trespassing on their property, they may not need to pay damages if the trespasser injures himself or herself.
What is covered on Insurance Plans?
There are some things that property insurance will cover. To find out what your plan offers, you need to speak to your agent or read the fine print of your contract. It is important to know what your plan covers to protect yourself from legal action. Most insurance plans will cover slip and fall accidents, assaults, dog bites, and injuries from serving intoxicated guests.
There are strict rules pertaining to most personal injury claims, so you need to disclose any pertinent information to your insurance company. For instance, if you have a dog, you need to inform your insurance provider. Whether their breed is considered a “bite risk” or not, even the nicest dogs can attack someone if they feel they are intruding on their property.
When you serve alcohol to guests at your home, they might become intoxicated. These individuals could injure others if they drive, or injure another person while intoxicated, and you could be liable for damages. Liability will stay with the other party if they brought their own alcohol, or if they were not intoxicated when they left your home.
Byline: Thomas Dehrkoop specializes in assessing properties for hazard and danger from structural problems or landscaping problems. Click here to learn more about tree removal as a way to reduce hazard near your home.