Four Ways to Protect yourself this Holiday Season

Distracted driving

Many homeowners will open up their doors and entertain this holiday season. Are you prepared for an influx of guests? Have you completed your deep cleaning tasks? Have you shopped for all of the food ingredients? What about insurance? Are you prepared in the event that one of your guests is injured while on your property? Many homeowners do not consider this, as they never expect a family member or friend to sue them for a personal injury. However, it does occur and you need to be protected. Increase the safety of your house and protect yourself with the following recommendations.

Remove any dangerous barriers to the entrance and exits

Most of your guests will be in just one or two areas of your house. They will enter through the front door, spend time in the dining room or living room, and then exit through the front door. Consider the path of your guests and remove any potentially dangerous barriers. If you have a large pot on your front porch, it might be a good idea to remove it during the entertaining season. If your children are constantly hitting their knee on the hallway table, consider moving this to avoid any falls from your guests.

Prepare for any inclement weather conditions

The holidays take place over the winter when the roads and sidewalks are likely to be icy. Failing to salt your walkways and driveways can result in falls. It could also result in an auto accident on your property. Before you invite guests over to celebrate the holidays, make sure you have removed all excessive snow from your property. Also, make sure you have put down enough salt to give your guests a safe walkway from their vehicle to your front door. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 17,000 slip and fall accidents (also known as premise liability accidents) occur every year. Many of these are due to icy walkways from winter weather conditions.

Monitor any drinking at your event

A homeowner can be liable for serving too much alcohol at a celebratory event and then letting the person get behind the wheel. It is your responsibility to monitor your guest?s drinking. Make sure no one gets behind the wheel that has had too much to drink. Arrange for other accommodations for those that are drinking heavily. You can call ahead for a cab or open up a guest bedroom for the night. Avoid costly premise liability cases and car crashes that are related to alcohol use. Approximately 1.5 million people are arrested annually for drunk driving. Worldwide, 1.2 million people die in car accidents every year. In addition to expensive premise liability possibilities, you are also contributing to an unsafe road for other drivers.

Evaluate your current homeowners insurance

It is best to be prepared for a premise liability case before it occurs. Avoid any expensive surprises by evaluating your homeowner?s insurance policy ahead of time. Request information as to exactly what you are covered for. Will your insurance provider cover a premise liability case? Will they cover your need for personal injury attorneys, an on site car crash, or damage caused by drunk driving? Personal injury cases can get complex, lengthy, and expensive. Understand what is covered by your policy and what is not.

Before you decide to entertain all of your family and friends this holiday season, make sure you are prepared in every way. In addition to the cleaning and the menu preparation, you also want to ensure that your house is safe for guests. If it is not, you could be liable for a premise liability legal case. Understand your insurance policy and take every step needed to provide a safe and risk free housing environment.

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