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3 ways homeowners can reduce their overall premises liability risks

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Premises liability defense

Premises liability is one of the negative aspects of home ownership. Everyone who owns a property has reason to worry that other people could end up hurt while visiting. Someone who falls down the stairs, gets bitten by a dog or suffers injuries caused by tripping hazards in the yard might try to hold a homeowner accountable.

They might file an insurance claim or even a personal injury lawsuit demanding compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Being proactive about reducing premises liability could benefit those who worry that a visitor might make sizable financial claims against them.

How can homeowners limit their personal premises liability?

With proactive property maintenance

Maintaining a safe space is crucial to the prevention of injuries and financial claims. Property owners need to conduct regular inspections of outdoor and indoor spaces to identify obvious hazards. They can repair a leaky roof or replace damaged flooring so that those risk factors don’t lead to someone getting hurt while visiting their property. The better the overall condition of the property, the less likely it is that someone has reason to claim the owner was negligent about property maintenance.

With appropriate signage

In some scenarios, signs can contribute to certain types of liability. They could distract and confuse people. Many times, however, signs can play an important role in notifying visitors about property concerns. Signage can identify loose gravel, uneven flooring and other concerns that could lead to visitor injuries. Open and obvious hazards, including those denoted by appropriate signage, are much less likely to result in successful premises liability lawsuits than safety issues that visitors might struggle to spot.

With limited access

Fencing in a yard can be a smart decision when a property owner has certain hazards outside their home. Trampolines and swimming pools are examples of attractive but dangerous elements in a yard that could lead to people visiting and getting hurt. The choice to limit access to a property by installing and securing a fence can diminish the possibility of uninvited visitors getting hurt while making use of the amenities in someone’s yard. Limiting social host activities also decreases the possibility that someone might drink too much at a party and tumble down the stairs. The fewer people that regularly come to a property, the less likely someone is to develop serious injuries while there.

If someone complains about getting hurt at a property, the owner may need to take certain steps to respond to a premises liability claim. Documenting the circumstances that led to someone’s injury and how a homeowner took steps to prevent that incident might lead to a more favorable outcome if a visitor blames them for an injury.