There is a common saying that goes, "there's no place like home." Most of us grow accustomed to our homes and the comfort it provides both inside and outside. However, there has been a growing trend in premises liability issues where people have been suing homeowners who had no clue that there were hazards in their yards. From experts in the field of accident insurance, “slips, trips, and falls at the grocery store or any accident on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence could fall under this category of personal injury cases. This category could also include a loose dog that bites you, an unfenced pool that a child may fall into, or slippery steps."
Today, we will be going over five hidden dangers in your yard that you need to address immediately.
Attractive Nuisance is a standard legal term for something that may be a distraction for a young child like yard ornaments. Children generally can't be held negligent because of their age, even if they were trespassing on your property. Legal specialists describe it as, “an attractive nuisance is something that is so interesting that it would entice a child into entering another's property. For instance, many courts require that the object be man-made and many require that you "maintain" the nuisance in order to be liable.” The best way to handle this is to either take down these objects or secure your yard with a fence to keep people out.
Keep Walkways in Good Repair
Any walkways that go through your yard to your front door should be clear from obstacles and in good repair. If the walkway is damaged, then repair it. Remodeling experts explain, “walk with a friend side-by-side and measure how much room is needed for a walkway. You may be surprised and wonder why most walkways are only 24 inches to 36 inches.“ If you have low hanging branches, you may want to trim them to prevent people from walking into them. At night time make sure these paths are well lit to prevent a person from falling.
Secure Your Pool
Most states regulate that you have a properly maintained fence and sign around any type of swimming pool or hot tub on your property. In Florida, signs are mandated by public pools but are also recommended for private pools for awareness even though it's not mandated. Safety and health worker recommend “place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.” All of this prevents unwanted guests from swimming in your pool or hot tub, so they don't injure themselves or possibly drown.
Secure Your Pets
Certain breeds of dogs may cause fear in people because of the widespread belief that these breeds of dogs may have a vicious side to them. In the case that you have a dog, it's a good idea that they're secured at your property correctly. Just because you may have your dog staked in the yard, or have an invisible collar for them, that doesn't mean they can't get out. You need a physically secured fence in place so that someone isn't injured.
Ensure Independent Contractors
It's a good idea to get a contract signed by both parties when it comes to an independent contractor doing work for you, whether it's mowing the grass, cleaning the gutters, or patching a leak in your roof. It's best to tell them of any hazards you know about on your property ahead of time so an injury can be avoided. Make sure they acknowledge they heard you about any hazards. Also, make sure to get references from people you may hire.
Premises liability is a serious issue for homeowners these days, and precautions can be taken so you can be protected. We hope that you consider some of the hidden dangers we talked about seriously to help you sleep better, knowing your property is fully protected.
Here are several more articles to check out while you’re here: