Home Owners: How to Protect Yourself from a Personal Injury Suit
Remember in Liar, Liar when Jim Carrey’s secretary irately recalls how her friend had a robber in her house who sued her friend because he fell on a table and injured himself? It seems crazy that someone trespassing on your property could turn around and sue you for injuries they incurred while illegally on your property; but instances like this aren’t unheard of. Whether you’re throwing a dinner party or have workmen in your home, you need to take the following steps to protect yourself from being involved in a personal injury suit.
- 1. Know Your Obligations
As a homeowner, you have obligations to all guests in your home, whether that person is a friend you invited over, a service man or woman, a renter, or a trespasser. It is your duty as a homeowner to ensure that guests safely enter and exit your premises, and that renters safely live on your premises. Therefore, homeowners are expected to:
- Foresee potential hazards;
- Maintain his/her premises;
- Make necessary home repair; and
- Warn visitors if a hazard is present; this is vital in the realm of personal injury lawsuits.
- 2. Basic Safety Precautions
It is imperative that you stay up-to-date on all maintenance requirements around your home. Here are a few areas that must be maintained/inspected periodically by homeowners to ensure home safety:
- Gas Systems;
- Pest Control;
- Plumbing; and
- 3. Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners Insurance is imperative to protecting yourself against personal injury lawsuits. Ensure that you purchase a policy that not only protects your home and assets, but you in the event that someone is injured on your premises. Be sure that you choose a homeowner’s insurance policy that will adequately cover all costs associated with an injury suffered by a guest in your home.
- 4. Know What to Do
In the event that someone gets injured on your property, it is vital that you know what to do. First, act quickly to the injury. If the injured person needs medical attention, call 9-1-1 or ensure that they receive the care they need. Second, you must acknowledge the event and deal with it promptly; do not ignore the problem in the hopes that it will go away. If the person who was injured wasn’t someone you knew well, it may be best to contact the police so that each of you can give on-the-record statements. Third, take pictures of the area where the accident took place to record a visual account of the event. Fourth, notify your insurance company of the accident and follow their instructions.
Sara Witt is a guest blogger and writer bringing to us tips for avoiding and dealing with homeowner related personal injury case. Sara writes about what to do if you become involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
I cannot personally endorse Sara Witt…..this is because I have never had the opportunity to use her. However, I did think that the subject did warrant a voice. Mel Kaye