Whether you are a home or business owner, if someone inside your property suffers an accident that could be prevented, you may be held liable. As a property owner, if you fail to provide a safe environment for your visitors or customers, you may be served with a personal injury lawsuit where the victim can recover compensation for injuries suffered in the accident. For example, if you fail to fix a broken step on your property and a visitor falls and suffers serious injuries, you could be held liable for the accident. Learn more about other unexpected ways you can be held liable for an accident in your property.
Slip and Falls
Property owners may be held liable for a slip and fall accident caused by their negligence. If you failed to inform a visitor about a slippery or unsafe surface and they suffer an accident, you may be responsible for expenses incurred in the accident. Peoria personal injury lawyer John Phebus states that an injury victim can recover medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s important to maintain a safe environment to prevent an accident and a lawsuit. Make sure stairs are safe to use and have handrails, surfaces are dry or place a sign if they have been recently mopped and/or waxed, fix cracks and bulges on sidewalks to prevent someone from tripping and make sure areas with high foot traffic are well light.
You may not be aware of this, but if your dog bites someone on your property, you may be held responsible for the victim’s injuries. This is why homeowner’s policies ask about any dogs you own and what their breed is, a victim can go through your homeowner’s insurance to recover compensation for a dog bite injury. You have a duty to protect visitors from your pets, especially if you know that your dog is dangerous or has attacked in the past. If you have visitors and you have a dangerous animal, make sure you keep them away from visitors, especially children who may not understand the dangers and may be tempted to pet or approach them. Inform visitors that the animal can attack and to stay away from the animal.
Not only are you responsible for maintaining your property safe like filling cracks on sidewalks, making sure trees are trimmed, removing ice from driveways and walkways, but you are also responsible for government-owned sidewalks. This means that you should also keep an eye on the sidewalk and areas near your home that no one claims. Make sure they are safe for people to walk by and that they don’t potentially cause an accident that you could be responsible for. Fix any imperfections that could cause someone to trip and fall.
Trees in your property should be trimmed or removed if they pose a danger to visitors or people that walk by your home. If a tree is overgrown and damages a vehicle or causes injuries to someone, you will be held liable for not properly maintaining it. Make sure you trim your trees regularly or remove them if they are too old or sick and they may fall over and cause an accident.
Accumulating trash, even if it’s inside your property and doesn’t cause a direct injury can be dangerous. Trash left inside or outside a home can attract rats, cockroaches, and other pests. These pests not only affect your home, but it’s easy for them to also infest your neighbors’ homes and can cause serious property damage. Make sure you don’t have any trash accumulating in your property, trash can be small objects or old vehicles, furniture; anything where these animals can find a home and cause a problem.