Having a party at your home is a great way to get friends and family together for a special event such as a birthday or just to enjoy one another’s company. Unfortunately, opening your home to guests also means opening yourself up to liability issues if someone is hurt on your property.
These steps can help keep your guests safe while protecting you from a costly lawsuit:
Monitor alcohol consumption
- If you’re serving alcohol, you may be held responsible if your guests cause an alcohol-related accident. Monitor guests to make sure they don’t drink too much. If they do, don’t let them have any more to drink and take their keys. You can arrange for a cab or other transportation to take them home, or have them stay the night in a spare room.
- Be careful if there are children or teenagers and you are serving alcohol. You may want to have them stay at a friend’s house during the party.
- Offer beverages other than alcohol and serve plenty of food.
Inspect your property
- Walk around your property, looking for potential hazards such as loose railings or broken steps. Fix these issues before you allow guests on your property. You could be held liable if a guest is injured, especially if you knew about a hazard and failed to fix it.
- If you have a dog or cat, consider keeping them in a crate or room clearly blocked off. Even a pet who’s normally docile may become anxious and bite or scratch when they’re around a lot of noise and unfamiliar people.
- If you have a pool not being used during the party, make sure it’s behind a securely locked fence.
- If you’re letting guests swim, make sure the pool is clean and drains, ladders, and other elements are in good condition. If children are present, ask several responsible adults to monitor the pool.
Check your homeowner’s insurance
- If a guest is injured on your property, your homeowner’s insurance may help pay their claim. Verify your insurance is in effect and all premiums have been paid.
- Make sure you have all the coverage you need. For example, if you have a pool, make sure it’s covered under your policy.
- Check your policy’s limits. If someone is seriously injured on your property and needs extensive medical care, the costs can be very high. Make sure your limits are high enough to offer a reasonable level of protection.
- Notify your insurer as soon as possible if someone is injured on your property.
If someone is injured on your property, contact the accident injury attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby & Martinez at 702-388-GGRM (4476) for a free consultation.