A Messy Yard Plus Bad Weather Can Create Liabilities for Neighbors
Homeowners might not always keep their yards in the neatest condition. Some may leave all manner of objects strewn in the driveway and yard. Tools, chairs, and trash could litter the lawn, and yard waste can pile up. All this disorder can create safety hazards, but people who live alone might not worry about visitors on their property when enclosed by fencing. Placing "no trespassing" signs on the fence in a clear view while also padlocking the gates do tell others to stay out. While these steps may deter people, the weather brings with it hazards. A negligence case can potentially arise if someone gets harmed when the homeowner contributes to the injury.
Bad Weather and Resulting Damage
A disorganized yard debris-riddled yard could create hazards extending beyond the property line when the weather takes a turn for the worst. During heavy windstorms, loose objects might go airborne. A bucket left unsecured on the ground may fly in the air due to heavy winds and smash a neighbor's window. While the homeowner may not be responsible for bad weather, questions of negligence arise about leaving things strewn. Had the owner kept the yard tidy, the damage might not have occurred.
Slip-and-Falls and Floods
Allowing leaves and cut grass to pile up creates a slip-and-fall hazard. While the hazards may exist inside the fence, the weather could take those hazards to the front pavement. Heavy rains and floods could take the yard waste and deposit it on the sidewalk. Someone who slips might have a personal injury suit against the homeowner. Again, the owner might not be fully responsible for the injury. However, a personal injury lawyer could build a negligence case based on the property owner's decision to allow the debris to pile up.
Also, if any debris ends up on the sidewalk, the property owner should address the hazard. A failure to clean up the mess promptly could create liabilities.
Ignoring Past Incidents
If a previous flood or storm caused debris to land outside the property line, the property owner should be aware of potential hazards. Not taking action to clean the property and reduce any chances of potential harm may be negligence.
Speaking With a Personal Injury Attorney
Injuries and property damage related to partial or contributory negligence can be complex. A plaintiff may find it wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney when seeking compensation after an incident.