From a premises liability attorney
While it’s not usually the first thing on a homeowner’s mind, a guest who injures oneself on your property can bring a lawsuit to your friend door. Therefore, a good premises liability attorney will always advise that your property be safe not only for your and your family, but also for guests and even strangers. The following tips can help you keep out of trouble.
Trip and falls
Tripping and falling is one of the most common forms of injury from property negligence. Therefore, it’s imperative that you make sure that your property, inside and out, is clear of clutter and objects that people could trip over. This involves cleaning clutter from your lawn and removing any objects that could be a hazard. Safely store these objects in a shed or outbuilding. Heavy items that could cause someone to seriously injure themselves should never be left in an exposed area, as guests may walk into them and injure themselves.
If you truly do not have anywhere to store these items, you should put them in one area and rope that area off to mark it as restricted for visitors on your property. Make keeping your property in good condition a top priority: always fix broken walkways and level uneven ground immediately. Inside your home, don’t leave that broken stair broken for long. If you simply think about the potential hazards in your home, you may come up with a few that you have let slide. These can be dangerous liabilities and should be fixed, or at least signified and roped off, immediately. Make sure all of your exits and stairways are clear and easily accessed.
Keep your home well-lit
Should there be an emergency, you want your visitors to have easy access to all entry and exit points in your home. If someone injures themselves escaping in an emergency due to your negligence, you could be liable. Lighting, both indoors and outdoors, is essential. Make sure that the back from your driveway to your door is well-lit at night, as someone could be seriously injured if they cannot see where they are walking while leaving your home.
Indoor lighting is also important – if it is dark in a room and a guest enters that room, they could injure themselves due to lack of familiarity with your property. Make sure you keep extra light bulbs around the house and replace worn out lights immediately. It is unsafe to have guests enter any room that is not well lit.
Besides the obvious furniture and other belongings that could prove to be a hazard, always be on the lookout for random debris. For example, dropping a glass on the floor and having it break is no big deal as long as it gets cleaned up; if you miss a piece, however, and a guest goes home with glass in their foot that leads to an infection, you could be the victim of a lawsuit.
At the end of the day, it’s always a best practice to utilize common sense when ensuring your home is safe. Keep your home clean, maintained, lit, and air-conditioned, and you are not likely to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit. A premises liability attorney is like insurance: if all goes well, you won’t need one.
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