I have a childrens playset that is very popular with the neighborhood kids in my back yard. They come over when we are not home . What is my responsibility if someone falls off the play set and hurts themselves?

Probably none. You do have a responsibility, if you have erected a play set, to use reasonable care to make sure that the set is safe. This means that the screws on the ladder are on tight. It means that if it’s a wooden play set that the nails are actually nailed in and not exposed for someone to rip their leg apart on. It does not been that just because the kids and climb high that you have to be out there watching them all the time.

If someone falls and hurts themselves, then maybe some coverage for the medical bills available under your homeowners medical care payments policy. (Check out your homeowners insurance). As far as lawsuit are concerned, however, you are only liable to someone if you have been careless.

A swimming pool is only slightly different. In addition to your duty to use reasonable care to make is safe, you have a duty to comply with your local swimming pool safety code. So, say the code calls for a six-foot fence with “childproof” locks and you build a four-foot fence without locks.  If a child sneaks in one day when you are not home and hurts himmself, you probably would have liability for a lawsuit.

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Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney