Whether you throw a spooky party or simply invite trick or treaters to enjoy some candy, Halloween is a fun time for entertaining. However, it’s not just the ghouls and goblins that can cause a fright on Halloween, but so can your responsibility to keep everyone safe on your property. When going through your Halloween event checklist, make sure you take the time to also prepare and inspect your property for any potential hazards or risks to your guests. Doing so will ensure that everyone has a haunted good time. Here are some things you can do to keep you protected from a premises liability claim.
Understand Your Duty Of Care
The first step in protecting yourself from premises liability claims is to understand your legal requirements. According to Florida law, every property owner has a duty of care to their guests. A duty of care simply means that it is your obligation to keep invited guests safe from preventable risks. If you fail to do so, then you are responsible for paying for their injuries and all related expenses. Typically, your property insurance company will cover these expenses, but at the very least you’ll have to pay for increased premiums. At the worst, you’ll have to pay for some of the expenses out of pocket.
How To Ensure You Are Maintaining Your Duty Of Care
There are some steps you can take around your property before inviting your Halloween guests over to make sure that your property is safe:
● Identify The Risks On Your Property: Walk around your property and think about what things could potentially cause an accident. Are there any uneven walkway surfaces that could cause a trip and fall? Are your stairs in good condition and feature a handrail? Is there anything that may fall or tip over onto someone? Even small things that can cause injury should be of note.
● Make The Necessary Repairs: If any of the risks you notice are the result of damage, make sure to schedule repairs before inviting your guests over. For example, if your porch railing is loose, have it repaired so it is secure if any of your guests lean on it.
● Clean Up Your Property: Loose gravel, sand, and rocks can all lead to a slip and fall. Toys, hoses, and extension cords can lead to trip and falls. Go around your property and clean up any clutter that is out.
● Improve Your Safety Features: Once your property is repaired and cleaned, it’s also a good idea to ramp up your safety features. For example, if you have a dark area in your backyard, add lighting. Install handrails, banisters, and steps where it is difficult to walk. Being proactive about these risks will show the courts that you took steps to maintain your duty of care.
● Secure Dangerous Areas: If you don’t have time to clean up or can’t afford the necessary repairs, you can still keep people safe by securing the area. Block off anywhere that is dangerous and posted signs so people know to stay clear.
All of these steps can help ensure that you are protected when your visitors come for Halloween or any other holiday events.
At Justice Pays, our attorneys are always here to protect you. Whether with tips to keep you protected from litigation or when you need someone to fight on your behalf. If you’re ever in a situation where you need help, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call at 1-833-954-1234 and we’ll go over all your legal options. Until then, Happy Halloween!