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Protect Your Home (from Lawsuits) This Holiday

ELI5: Negligence

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If you’re like most people, you get the warm and fuzzies when a joyful group of Christmas carollers show up at your doorstep to bring you a little holiday cheer. Conversely, if you’re like most people, you do not feel the same warm and fuzzy feeling when one of them is carried away, vowing to file a personal injury claim, when they slipped on your doorstep. This holiday, make sure your home, and your homeowners’ insurance policy are both kept safe from lawsuits.

Be Careful with the Decorations

Be careful when decorating your house, especially if you’re putting up Christmas tree lights. Be very careful if you need to stand on a ladder in order to decorate the house—especially if the decorations are going on the roof. Depending on your house’s situation, it may be necessary to consider just how much power your decorations are going to draw. Normally, the breaker will “trip” if it can’t handle the amount of power your holly jolly decorations are demanding. However, if you’ve got electrical atrocities like double tapped wires, for example, or if the wires are too small for the breakers, overloading it can be a fire hazard. If you’ve got plans for a lot of lights this year, make sure your home can handle it. If you need to buy many, many extension cords in order to get everything to a power source, it may be time to rethink your holiday vision.

Don’t Attract Children

Attractive nuisance doctrine states that property owners have a higher duty of care toward children because children are not always able to appreciate the risks associated with engaging in certain activities. An attractive nuisance can be anything that could lure a child onto a property and be hazardous. Good examples of attractive nuisances include animals, swimming pools, playground equipment, land formations, and even holiday decorations. If you have holiday decorations that a child may want to get a closer look at, it may be a good idea to ensure your property is free of hazardous conditions. If you’ve got a dog that is aggressive, it may be a good idea to make sure the dog isn’t running freely, especially if you’re not watching, and your yard isn’t fenced. If you have hazardous conditions that cannot be removed, such as a land formation, it may be a good idea to take reasonable precautions in order to prevent children from becoming injured.

Salt Your Sidewalk

Unless all you want for Christmas is a subpoena summoning you to court, make sure your house isn’t the subject of a nasty slip ‘n fall claim. Depending on your city’s ordinances, you may be responsible for ensuring that your sidewalk is safe for anyone who is using it. That means that someone may have a claim against you if they slip and fall on the sidewalk outside your house. And this could be true even if the sidewalk isn’t technically your property. It’s also important to salt any stairs or walkways leading to your front door. If a group of carollers is injured while walking up to your house, it may be an awkward conversation—especially if they want to file a claim.   

Clean that Kitchen

Whether you’re roasting chestnuts, or making a fruitcake for the candlelit potluck at church, you need to make sure that your kitchen is clean. Always wash your hands before you begin cooking. If your hair falls past your neck, you should have it in a ponytail. All taste testing should be done with a spoon, not your fingers. And those spoons don’t go back into the food after they’ve been in your mouth. Use a new spoon each time you need to taste test something. It may also be a good idea to check the expiration date before you get started. Though some things can technically last forever, others perish rather quickly. If there’s any question about whether or not an ingredient is still safe to consume, it’s probably best to play it safe and just throw it out.

Watch that Delightful Fireplace

 Don’t leave a fire unattended in it. Close doors and make sure nothing falls out of the fireplace. Make sure the area immediately surrounding the fireplace is clear of stuff and will not catch on fire. Embers might pop and sparks may fly out. Do not stack things on top of the fireplace. Be very careful with flame hazards. Beware of heat hazards. Things can get very hot, especially if you have an exposed flu. Never allow children near it. Know what you’re doing. Fires take a lot of oxygen. 

When You’ve Been Injured

Moxie Law Group wishes everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! If you’ve been injured this holiday season, Moxie Law Group is here for you. We have the best personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve. If you’re ready to file your personal injury claim, contact Moxie Law Group today.

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