Liable definition

Sometimes accidents just happen, and no amount of cleaning or care will make a property so safe that no one will ever be injured. The most common place to be injured is at home, simply because you spend more time there. People get injured and even die in their own bathtubs.

But when someone else is injured on your property, that person could blame you and ask you to pay for all the expenses, including medical bills and lost time from work. You need to think about how to keep accidents from happening and make a plan for what to do if there is an accident on your property.

This is a basic safety plan like knowing where emergency exits are. You may never have a fire, but if there is one, you need to know how to avoid danger and protect your family as well as you can. You can feel better if you know what to do ahead of time.

What would someone have to prove to make you legally liable?

Anyone wanting to recover their expenses from you will have to prove three things. First, this person will need to prove you owed them a duty of care. “Duty of care” just means that you are supposed to be reasonably careful in dealing with others. You may not owe that duty to some people, such as trespassers. Someone invited onto your property, or there to do business, is owed a legal duty of care.

Second, there must be proof that your negligence somehow caused the injury. For instance, you may have a broken piece of flooring you keep meaning to fix, and your delay in repairing caused someone else to trip and fall.

Third, anyone wanting to sue you must be able to prove actual damages. It is not enough to prove that something was startling or frightening. There must be concrete evidence of damage, such as medical bills or proof of lost time from work.

How can you protect yourself from lawsuits?

If someone is injured on your property, you could end up being liable for all the expenses associated with their injuries. That means you need to protect yourself, by being proactive at all times.

  • Always maintain insurance that will cover these kinds of damages

  • Maintain your premises in such a way to avoid accidents

  • Immediately repair new dangers, such as carpet that stick up and clean wet floors

  • If anyone is injured on your property, provide assistance as soon as possible

  • Consult an attorney for any problems that may arise