Litigation Quick Take: Incident Occurring on Your Property

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Q:  What should I do if someone claims they sustained an injury on my property?

A:  If you witness or are informed of an incident occurring on your property, check to see if the injured party is okay and call an ambulance if medical assistance is needed.  It is a good idea to call the police so they can investigate the incident and create an accident report. 

While it is the practice of most businesses to have their employees fill out a company accident report for injuries occurring at their place of business, you should still consider calling the police to have a neutral person record the events. If you are questioned by the police or the injured party, be honest about the facts, but refrain from making statements that could be interpreted as admissions of fault.  Consider recording these conversations on your phone. 

If you have your phone or camera at the time of the incident, consider taking pictures or videos that show the area where the injury occurred, what allegedly caused the injury (i.e. a crack in the sidewalk, a hole in your yard, ice/snow, etc.), the weather conditions, and any warning signs notifying individuals of a defect.  If you have surveillance video of the incident (i.e. from a smart doorbell, surveillance system, or neighboring surveillance system), collect those videos.  If there were witnesses, take down their contact information and see if they will make a written or recorded statement.   

You will need to provide your insurance information to the injured party.  It is a good idea to inform your insurance company immediately after an injury so they can collect the police report and obtain recorded statements from the injured party and witnesses.  Pass along any pictures, videos, or recordings you took, as well as any surveillance videos.

Please also see this blog post for more detail.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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