AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN
By: Barry L. Edzant, Esq.
It may come as quite a surprise to you that the most dangerous place on earth is sometimes your own home. Every year, millions of adults and children alike are injured in their own home, or the home of others, due to simple safety violations which could have been avoided. In fact, one of the leading causes of death among children under five years old is accidental drowning in backyard swimming pools.
Under California law, a homeowner is responsible for maintaining his or her home in such a way as to avoid injury to others. This includes people whom you have invited onto your property, as well as people whom you can reasonably expect to be on your property at any given time, such as a postal worker or delivery personnel. In some instances, even trespassers are considered a class of people protected under the law.
It is important to remember that if anybody other than your own family members is injured on your property as a result of your negligence, i.e., failure to maintain the property in a safe order, the injured party can bring a claim against you for personal injuries, which includes medical bills, loss of earnings, and pain, suffering and emotional distress. Assuming that you carry homeowner's coverage, your homeowner's policy should cover the damages to the injured party.
Some of the more common causes of injuries that occur at people’s homes are as follows:
1. Dog bites. If you have a dog that has a vicious propensity, keep your dog securely away from all visitors to your home.
2. Back yards. Back yards are a haven for injury, especially for kids, which can include swimming pools and spas, loose debris, uneven, loose or slippery walking surfaces, hot BBQ’s, jungle gym equipment and the like. If young children are in the back yard, supervision by an adult is an absolute must.
3. Front yards. Some of the more common dangers in front yards include hidden holes in lawns, lawn sprinkler risers, hoses, and uneven, loose or slippery surfaces.
4. Construction. Many homes under construction for landscaping or physical construction to the home are injuries waiting to happen. Debris from construction, dirt piles, heavy equipment, tools, and heavy lumber are all considered attractive nuisances for children who, of course, love to play.
5. Home interior. While the interior of a home is less likely to cause somebody an injury, certain injuries can occur from the following: Negligent preparation or handling of food, objects in closets which can fall on people, cracked or broken mirrors and glass, slippery surfaces on tile or other surfaces, extraordinarily hot water, knives which are easily accessible to children, and of course, guns.
If you have been bit by a dog and want to talk with experienced California dog bite attorneys, call the law office of Barry Edzant today at 661-222-9929.
Certainly, the list above is not even close to being complete. Injuries can happen when they are least expected. Upon reflection, most injuries could have been easily avoided with some forethought.
As homeowners, we all have a responsibility to make sure that our friends, neighbors, and people who must be on our property for business reasons, are safe and well taken care of. We expect that of others when we visit their homes, and people expect that of us as well.
So, next time you are in your backyard enjoying the sunset, look around to see if there is any possibility that you or someone you love could get injured in your backyard. Then, don’t procrastinate! Do whatever you can do to fix the problem, because in the long run, nothing is worse than an accident which should never have happened.
Other personal injury articles that may be of interest:
What to do following an automobile accident
Slippery when wet