Beyond Dog Bites: Other Injuries For Which A Homeowner May Be Liable

Most homeowners know that they can be held liable when their visitors get injured in their homes. However, people only tend to think of "common" injuries, such as those caused by falls and dog bites. As a homeowner, however, you should know that you can be held liable for all injuries occurring in your home, including those that you may not think of, such as these three:

Drug Overdose

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are found abundantly in many homes across the country. Unfortunately, many of these drugs can lead to serious illness or even fatalities when taken over their usual dosages. Visitors to your home, especially kids, can easily ingest these drugs and be affected by them. Children and teenagers tend to be curious about drugs, especially those they haven't used before, those that cause intoxication (such as narcotic painkillers), and those that taste sweet.

As a homeowner, it's your responsibility to ensure such people can't get hold of your drugs. Dispose of old medication (the expired ones or the ones you no longer need) and lock up the ones you still need.

Food Poisoning

It might be fun to entertain guests at your home, but the foods and drinks you serve them can be a liability to you if you aren't careful. Your visitors can hold you liable for their injuries if they develop food poisoning after eating or drinking in your place.

Food poisoning can be caused by different things; for example, your guests can develop food poisoning if they eat:

  • Expired food
  • Food contaminated with germs
  • Poorly cooked food
  • Food contaminated with poisonous chemicals

It's your responsibility not to serve your guests dangerous foods. Ensure that this is the case by following these guidelines, among others:

  • Washing raw foods thoroughly.
  • Washing everything (such as towels, knives, your hands, and cutting boards) that may come into contact with the food.
  • Using separate utensils for raw and cooked foods, and keeping the two separate.
  • Storing leftover food at the correct temperatures.

Electrical Shocks

The third example is the risk of electrical shock. Damaged sockets, malfunctioning electrical appliances (such as electric irons), poorly installed electrical decorations, and overloaded extension cords (which can easily happen if you have multiple guests) can easily cause injuries.

For example, a child can insert a finger in a damaged socket and suffer electrical shock. You may not be aware of that risk if you don't have children, so you may fail to cover or seek prompt repair of such sockets.

Therefore, take every precaution possible to make your visitors safe from all threats. This is especially necessary if you like entertaining people in your home. For more information on what precautions you should take to reduce the risk of someone getting hurt while on your property, contact your homeowners insurance agency.