The summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the nice weather, and many people do this without having to leave their neighborhood. Maybe they have a swimming pool or their neighbor has a trampoline that the local kids are allowed to use, but these backyard activities account for numerous injuries and deaths each year. If neighborhood kids are regularly on your property, or your kids are allowed to play on someone else’s property or equipment, it’s imperative that you follow some basic steps to help protect yourself against an injury lawsuit or in the event that you need to file a claim. We explore those tips in today’s blog.
Backyard Safety And Injury Compensation
If you spend a lot of time in your backyard during the summer, you may need to be mindful of your liability and your compensation options if others regularly enter onto your property. Let’s begin with liability limitation.
Two types of injuries that often peak during the summer months are pool and trampoline injuries, so you need to take some extra steps if you own either of these leisure options. This is especially true if others routinely come on to your property to use either of these things. Swimming pools are considered particularly dangerous in the eyes of liability law, because it’s not enough to just put a fence around your pool and a “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign on your deck and assume that means you’re protected against injuries to guests. That’s because Minnesota considered backyard pools an “attractive nuisance,” meaning that you can still be held liable if a child enters your property without your permission and injures themselves in your pool.
This means that if your middle school son has friends over and someone gets injured, or a child enters the property through an unlocked gate and falls in your pool, you can be held liable even though you did not give the kids express permission to be there. That’s why it’s so important to always supervise your children and any guests when they are in or near the pool area, and to ensure that it is known that nobody is allowed to swim without an adult present. Some neighborhoods allow children to use swimming pools freely when the owners aren’t home, but that doesn’t absolve the pool owners of liability if someone is injured when they aren’t there. Never let people swim in your pool when you’re not around.
Much of the same logic can be applied to trampolines. Never let the equipment be used unsupervised, and ensure that the provided safety guidelines are followed by all jumpers. It may seem like a fun idea to get all the neighborhood kids jumping at once, but if someone is injured and the actions on the trampoline were in direct violation with recommended safety protocols, you can be held liable. Just like the swimming pool, don’t let others use it when you’re not home, because you can still end up facing a lawsuit if someone else’s kids are injured while jumping.
Every year we handle a number of different pool- and trampoline-related injury claims, and we want you to stay protected so that you and your homeowner’s insurance provider aren’t named in an injury suit. On the flip side, if you or your child was injured on someone else’s property and you’re considering filing a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to save as much evidence as possible and contact an injury lawyer like Dean Margolis. Take pictures of the scene and get the contact information of any witnesses, then reach out to a lawyer. We’ll be able to help determine if you have a valid claim and the best way to pursue compensation.
So if you’re looking to cool off or have some fun this summer in the backyard, know that your liability may be on the line if you own a trampoline or pool. Ensure that your pool is up to local regulations and make it known that swimming is not permitted without adult supervision. Follow all trampoline jumping guidelines and don’t let others use it when you’re not around. Don’t feel pressured into letting it become the neighborhood’s equipment, because you’re the one that will be facing the injury lawsuit if someone is injured on your property. For questions or concerns about backyard liability, or to talk to a lawyer about your options if you were injured on someone else’s property, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today.
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