August 3, 2018
There’s nothing like the cool breeze, hot grill, and good friends to make summer in Indiana the best time of year. Backyard games, barbecues, and pool parties are the social staples when school’s out, and we want you to enjoy these moments with your community.
Sadly, too many accidents, injuries, and nuisances make a night of fun frustrating or even tragic. Before you host a blowout celebration this summer, take a minute to get familiar with the liability law at play during private events.
Premises Liability in the Neighborhood
If you’ve ever lived next door or near a noisy neighbor, you may have wondered what it would take for them to be liable for their nuisance in court. Though civil law protects landowners from private and public nuisances, the actions someone would have to take are more severe than leaving the lights on past 10:00 p.m.
Premises liability defines private nuisances both broadly and yet very specifically; the general definition encompasses many possible situations, but each are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so few are granted by a judge.
Generally, a private nuisance occurs when someone’s use of their own property harms another property or injures another property owner. Examples of this may include cutting down a tree that damages your neighbor’s fence or setting off fireworks too close to your neighbor’s house and injuring your neighbor in the process.
When throwing a party, keep in mind your obligation to protect others’ property and health even as you enjoy the freedom in your own backyard.
Party Accident Liability
Other possible causes of civil lawsuits arise from hazards on your property. Guests who are unaware of non-obvious dangers may be able to sue you if they are injured at your house.
Keep the House in Shape
Slick spots in the kitchen, loose boards on the deck, and an uneven backyard can all be trip hazards that lead to injuries you may be liable for. Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance will cover many accidents that may occur during a party, but check to ensure your policy provides adequate coverage per claim, and be especially careful of roughhousing, since intentional acts that cause injuries may not be covered.
Watch Over Little Ones and Teens
Whenever minors are present at a party, especially when alcohol is available, you have a duty to ensure their safety and compliance with state and federal laws. Remember, it’s a crime to allow minors to drink.
A typical backyard can present a whole gauntlet of danger for young children. To help your kids and your guests’ kids safe during a get-together, establish safety zones around things like the pool, grill, and fire pit where kids aren’t allowed to go. Make sure every adult is on the lookout for wandering toddlers or mayhem-seeking elementary schoolers, and give them permission to grab them before they can hurt themselves.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Not only is providing alcohol to underage kids a crime, but it also greatly increases your risk of liability. Whenever people drink alcohol at a private event, the person hosting may be held liable for injuries they suffer under the influence, whether on the property or not.
This means that if someone drinks too much and crashes their car on the way home, you may be partially on the hook for their injuries and any other damage they may cause. Pay attention to how much others are drinking and cut them off when they’ve had enough. Make them wait at your house until they sober up rather than sending them home right away.
Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here To Help
We want you to make many summer memories in your backyard this year and to visit others’ homes for time together as well. However, not everyone pays careful attention to the many hazards, precautions, and concerns that arise when hosting a backyard party. If someone’s negligence causes you or someone you know to become injured, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to earn compensation for the medical bills.
Hensley Legal Group’s personal injury attorneys will take much of the burden off your shoulders as you pursue legal action. We’ll file the necessary paperwork, keep you updated on any deadlines, and ensure you build the strongest case possible. Call us or contact us online to start a free conversation about your situation.