We’ve all watched them on TV and YouTube, the Do It Yourself (DIY) shows that are so enticing and inspirational. Home improvement has expanded well beyond the necessity of home maintenance and into a personal hobby for many. Oftentimes these projects come out as intended, a unique and personal way to improve a home’s image. What happens when the end result creates a problem? Perhaps a step that’s a few inches too steep, a garden slope that becomes slippery when wet. As homeowners, what is our responsibility to protect against slip and fall injuries on our property?
Property owners and others in control of a property, including landlords and property managers, have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure their properties are safe for visitors. If a defect or dangerous condition in the land cannot be remedied, landowners must warn of its existence. Another perfect opportunity for handcrafting – perhaps a carved sign banner alerting to danger?
In all seriousness, it is important to protect yourself from these liabilities. In 2014 alone, the City of Providence paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle slip and fall lawsuits. If someone sues you for a slip and fall injury, these claims are usually covered by personal homeowner policies. It is important to review your homeowner coverage regularly to ensure that your policy adequately protects you and your property.
If you slip and fall, inspect the area where you fell to see what caused the accident; and write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, even if they did not directly see you fall. If possible, it’s always helpful to take a picture of the area where the accident occurred.
For more information on slip and fall accidents, or to discuss your personal situation, contact your lawyer.
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