Want To Get Sued As A Homeowner? Here Are Three Easy WaysArticle Posted by Expert Author: Carly Jorge on 09/19/2013
Most homeowners don't envision becoming the target of a property-related lawsuit. But both you and your home could be a ticking time bomb. Not having enough homeowners insurance to cover you should such incidents occur could quickly lead to years of financial strife for you and your family.
Having An Overprotective Dog
One of the most common property lawsuits stem from dog bites occurring in the home or on the property, which accounted for over 1/3 of all the home insurance liability claims paid in 2011. And some states may delay the time to begin filing a claim until the victim reaches 18. Although having a dog is a good idea for the safety and security of your family, dogs that are overprotective can and have been accused of crossing the line by those who have visited home and been subsequently bit.
Not Making Necessary Repairs When They Need To Be Made
Those rickety front steps could be a lawsuit waiting to happen should a visitor injure themselves. Should homeowner negligence be found to be the main cause of injury in a courtroom, the case will stick, leaving the homeowner stuck with thousands in legal costs to be paid out-of-pocket should they not have an umbrella policy.
Although making repairs will cost a homeowner money, the longer you wait to make them, the worse the damage can get, and the more it can end up costing you to fix. As well, damage to property features like stairs that get worse with time can also result in a higher severity of injury, and therefore higher requested settlement amounts.
Having An Attractive Nuisance On Your Property
Did you know your liability risk increases with the addition of an attractive nuisance to your property? Attractive nuisances are defined as items which attract children to use them, even if those people must overcome a fence around the item to do so. Not only can they end up costing homeowners more for insurance, but they can also result in legal action against homeowners.
As far as pools go, children who injure themselves as a result of falling into or using your pool can result in a successful lawsuit being filed from the child's caregivers. And this can occur even if the child didn't have your permission to be near or in the pool.
The best way to protect yourself against being sued for attractive nuisances is to ensure that your have the right safety measures in place, as well as the right kind of liability coverage. The other option is not to have attractive nuisances like trampolines and pools on your property at all.
Commenting About Contracting Companies
It may be possible to be sued just for submitting comments online about any companies you may have dealt with while your home was being built or repaired. Such is the case with at least two homeowners who posted on Angie's List, a site where consumers can submit their reviews of contracting companies.
A contractor who feels that a homeowner knowingly posted false and derogatory comments may very well be able to sue that homeowner for defamation of character. The reason the homeowner can be sued and not the site on which the comment was posted is due to a common inclusion in site policy. This inclusion states that the site itself is not responsible for the statements its members use the site to make.
While this is not an exhaustive list of issues of how to get sued, it does happen to be areas that homeowners insurance companies may red flag you. It pays to research this up front before you sign on the dotted line.
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