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Is your property hazardous to others?

Even though many areas of the country are still digging themselves out of Mother Nature's latest onslaught -- and although Louisville still appears to be in winter's grip -- spring is just around the corner.

As Louisville residents are well-aware, however, just because the calendar proclaims that it is spring, that doesn't mean that our weather will be free of storms. In fact, the upcoming months typically produce some of the wildest weather of the year, from floods to tornadoes.

The unpredictability of the weather can sometimes lead to injuries when home- and business owners fail to take proper precautions to secure their property and prevent hazards from adversely affecting neighbors, passers-by and customers.

What damage can result from inclement weather?

Everyone fears the cyclonic winds of tornadoes, but that is just one weather condition that can cause serious damage. Tornado damage is typically viewed for insurance purposes as "Acts of God," with no one being liable for the damages from these deadly, swirling winds.

However, not all weather-related damage will get a pass. Homeowners with dead or dying trees on their property can face premises liability litigation if they fail to remove these trees or limbs from their property, and somebody gets crushed by them in inclement weather conditions.

Backed up or clogged sewage systems can create soft spots and sinkholes on the property that present safety hazards to utility workers and others who must access the property to get meter, water usage or gas readings for billing purposes.Remember, too, that in a heavy windstorm, unsecured items like flag poles, yard maintenance equipment and patio furniture can become deadly projectiles that can maim or kill others. Gutters that are clogged or unsecured can come loose in spring storms and inflict damage to those in close proximity.

These are just a few examples. They are only the tip of the premises liability iceberg that can open homeowners up to costly claims.

If you wind up injured this spring due to a property owner's negligence, you may want to consider filing a claim for damages in order to recoup some or all of your accident-related expenses.

Source: State Farm, "Prepare Your Home for Spring Storms," accessed March 09, 2018

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