Creating a safe environment in your home should be a bigger priority than many people make it. Aside from protecting your family and visitors from injury or even accidental death, doing your due diligence on your property will protect you from a potential lawsuit.
You might know a few talented personal injury lawyers in New Orleans or your resident city who can defend you in a personal injury lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean you want to go through a case if you don’t have to. If you want to prevent any injury on your property, here are three things you can do.
- Fix Uneven Services
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-fall accidents account for 8 million hospital visits every year. It’s the most common reason for emergency room visits, and they most often result in a broken bone, which takes weeks or even months to heal.
You can do your due diligence by carefully surveying the landscape and looking for uneven surfaces.
“Check the landscape for problems, including dead branches that could break off and hit someone, standing water, holes and plants dug up by animals, poisonous plants, and biting insects like wasps,” recommends an article from Buildium Blog. “Drape yellow warning tape around any risky area until you can fix the problem. Look throughout your property for uneven surfaces; even a one-fourth-inch difference can cause someone to stub a toe and fall.”
A common problem in old houses in particular is rotting subfloor that creates an uneven floor. You might not think much of it, but it can cause someone to trip over their own feet. It’s important to fix a sagging floor with foundation jacks so that you can avoid all potential accidents.
- Install Safety Measures and Devices
You can significantly reduce your risk for accidents simply by installing safety measures and devices. As soon as you identify a potential problem around your house, fix it right away. Don’t procrastinate -– you never know when an accident will occur on your property.
Rebecca Edwards of Safewise suggests taking specific safety precautions to protect children who might cut themselves on sharp items lying around the house. “Use a locking garbage can to protect small fingers and pets from finding sharp edges on opened cans and lids,” she says. “Never leave tools lying around and always keep them locked in a shed or garage where kids can’t access them.”
Replacing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, keeping the property clean and organized, installing safety rails, and taking care of other safety hazards will prevent many accidents in the future.
- Understand Your Risks
Every state has different laws about personal injury claims. There are a variety of rules or policies that you might want to understand to better protect yourself. For example, did you know that in most states, you could be sued for personal injury, even for uninvited guests?
“Laws that cover homeowner liability for the injury of a guest vary by state, but the laws of many states classify injured individuals as trespassers, licensees and invitees,” Andrew Suszek explains. “A homeowner has different responsibilities with respect to each classification. A trespasser is a person who is not permitted on the property; a licensee is a person who is permitted on the property but who is not there for business purposes; and an invitee is a person who is on the property for business purposes.”
People will be coming and going on your property frequently, and you don’t want their visit to turn sour. Doing everything you can to prevent accidents is important, but remember that you can’t stop all accidents. Knowing what to do when one occurs is just as important for protecting yourself and helping the injured person before the situation gets out of hand.