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Has Someone Been Injured on Your Property?

An injured man
If someone gets injured while on your property, they may try to sue you or file a claim with your homeowners insurance. While some claims are valid, some may not be, so you should know more about your responsibility if someone is injured while on your property. Check out these questions to help determine if you are responsible.

What Caused the Injury?

In some cases, your property may be completely unrelated to the injury. For example, if someone was delivering a package and tripped over their own untied shoelace, the accident an injury is completely their fault.

On the other hand, if the injury was caused by something on the property (a hole, some broken steps, a damaged porch, for example), you may be partially responsible. Similarly, in some states, neglect that causes unsafe conditions can be illegal.

Were You Aware of a Potential Hazard?

If you were aware of the potential hazard but did nothing to correct the problem, your responsibility increases. Once you are made aware of the hazard, you are responsible for fixing it to prevent potential injury.

If you were not aware of the potential hazard, however, you may still be responsible if the court determines a reasonable person should have been aware of the issue. If the hazard is new, the court will also consider whether or not you've had enough time to address the issue.    

Did You Actively Try to Prevent the Injury?

The best way to actively prevent injury is to remove the problem, such as fixing a broken porch or removing slippery moss from the sidewalk. Of course, you may not have the money to fix the problem, or you may have only recently noticed it.

In this case, you can still take some steps to prevent injury, such as blocking the area with tape, cones, and boards to prevent access. If this isn't possible, you can post warning signs and give verbal warnings of potential hazards.

Is the Person an Invited Guest or a Trespasser?

Many personal injury claims involve guests or people you've invited to your home, but what about trespassers? Typically, if someone is trespassing and gets hurt, the court will determine they are completely to blame.

However, if you purposely injured the trespasser and your life (not property or belongings) was at not at risk, you may be responsible. Also, if your property is commonly used as a shortcut or people frequently trespass, you may be required to post warning signs or risk a lawsuit or claim filed against you.

How Old Is the Injured Party?

When the injured party is a kid, the rules change depending on their age and level of understanding. A small child, for example, doesn't understand that trespassing is wrong, so if they see an attractive nuisance — a hazard that may attract children — they may enter your property without thinking and get hurt.

An attractive nuisance is anything that may attract a child, including items targeted for kids (fort, pool, or trampoline) as well as items not meant for kids (lawnmower or saw). If you do have any attractive nuisances, you should keep them out of site or block them with a fence.

Personal injury accidents happen all the time, so make sure you have adequate homeowners insurance to protect you if someone gets injured while on your property. While the accident may not have been your fault, you may still be found partially responsible for the injuries.

To get a quote on insurance, or if you would like more information about how homeowners insurance can protect you from lawsuits and claims, contact us at Insurance Designers today.
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    Insurance Designers
    4123 Parker Ave.
    West Palm Beach, FL 33405

    Phone: 561-833-AUTO (2886)
    Fax: 561-833-0012
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    Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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