For both residential and business properties, ongoing upkeep is essential to help avoid injuries. However, there are seasonal property maintenance tasks—and risks—as well.
If someone is injured on your property due to your negligence, you are open to a personal injury lawsuit. That’s why properly and clearly identifying hazards and remedying them are important not just for the sake of safety, but also for the sake of your wallet.
The New England weather subjects our properties to a lot of seasonal wear and tear. Everything from freezing temps, snow and ice in the winter through summer storms, microbursts and flooding in the summer, takes a huge toll on pavement, landscaping and structures.
Take some time now to perform a spring inspection of your property. Look for:
- Frost heaves and holes in sidewalks, driveways and parking areas.
- Wobbly or broken hand rails on steps and decks.
- Loose gutters, signs or other items that aren’t securely fastened and could fall.
- Damaged trees or branches that could come down unexpectedly, or that have already fallen and present a risk.
- Broken or rotted stairs.
- Structural damage, like cracks in the foundation, or broken glass.
It’s far less expensive to fix small problems before they grow large, or even worse, cause an injury that exposes you to a lawsuit and costs you thousands. Homeowners and business property insurance provides one level of protection, but often not enough in the case of a serious injury.
Accidents can happen in a second, so remaining alert to even temporary safety hazards is essential. Consider these summer safety scenarios:
- You’re trimming your hedges and someone trips over the extension cord that lays across the walkway, or the hose while you’re watering your lawn.
- You forget to lock your pool gate and a neighbor’s child falls in. Or you leave the gate to your yard open and your dog gets out and bites a passerby.
- While painting your shutters, you run in the house to take a call, and the ladder topples over and hits someone.
In all these cases, and many more, you may be found liable for resulting injuries.
Prepare for the worst
Making ongoing property maintenance a priority and remaining alert for unsafe conditions should help ward off many opportunities for injury, but it’s important to be prepared in case the unexpected happens. That includes having the right level of insurance coverage, as well as a first aid kit and easy access to emergency services numbers.
If an injury occurs:
- Get the injured party appropriate help and care as quickly as possible.
- If the injury is serious and requires medical care, contact your insurance provider as soon as you are able to report the incident.
- If there is a possibility that you could be sued, secure the service of a lawyer experienced in personal injury cases.
Preventing a personal injury is far better than being sued for contributing to one, but if you need help, we’re here. Contact us to learn more.