Injuries that take place in your home or on your property become your responsibility, as a home owner. Although homeowners insurance may cover some accidents, you will still incur costs in the form of higher homeowners insurance premiums in the future. It is important to take steps to make your home safer and avoid common lawsuits for injuries in your home. Here are some common types of injuries and what you can do to protect yourself.
1 – Dog Bites
Dog bites are extremely common. In fact, some homeowners insurance companies will refuse to insure aggressive breeds. If you own a dog, take steps to keep people on and around your property safe. This includes closing gates to fenced in yards and keeping your dog(s) on a leash. If you have visitors at your property, consider placing your dog in a different room or closed off area. Even normally docile animals can become agitated around strangers and cause injuries to others.
2 – Slip & Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are another common home injury, and the circumstances vary greatly. They can be caused by something as minor as loose handrails or uneven stairs to slick walkways from snow and ice during winter. As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to repair any known issues. It’s not enough to merely warn visitors of a danger. Additionally, be proactive as well. For instance, promptly salt walkways after a snow storm, add lighting to dark walkways, or highlight steps that get commonly missed. These will help minimize accidents and lawsuits related to slip and falls.
3 – Hosting Liabilities
Another source of common lawsuits for injuries at home are events that you host. You may be liable for things such as food poisoning, physical arguments and driving under the influence. Although attendees may be responsible adults capable of their own decisions and consequences thereof, you may still be legally responsible for their actions based on circumstances surrounding an event. For example, if you knowingly served alcohol to someone who was clearly intoxicated, you could be found negligent if they cause injury to others. If you failed to fully cook meats or take steps to prevent food from spoiling at an outdoor event on a hot day, that could be a liability as well if people get severely ill. Hosting events makes you responsible for things that take place at that event, so be a conscientious and take steps to protect your guests.
4 – Outdoor Activities
Our last category of common lawsuits for injuries at home involve outdoor extracurricular activities. Think about swing sets, trampolines, ziplines, etc. If someone gets hurt participating in activities or using equipment on your property, you could be liable. Make sure your equipment is safe, participants are the appropriate to use them, and adult supervision is available. Taking measures to ensure safety can minimize your risk.
Summary of Common Lawsuits for Injuries at Home
The above list of common lawsuits for injuries at home may seem a bit scary, but it’s certainly better to be scared and overly cautious. Homeowners insurance is meant as a level of protection against certain unavoidable mishaps, but it will not protect you against all scenarios. Exclusions in your policy may apply. Furthermore, if the damages from an accident exceed your policy limits, you can still be held personally and financially liable. Protect yourself, your family, and your guests by taking steps to avoid these common dangers and injuries.