A fire pit is a common outdoor addition to many homes, used for its private enjoyment and entertainment. You keep your fire pit properly contained by surrounding it with rocks and a grate. You also tell children to stay away from the fire pit even when it’s not in use to protect them against an accidental burn.
Unfortunately, a fire pit is still a danger and can be very tempting for a child to play with. In fact, among the top 10 causes of burns are fireplaces and grills, and a fire pit can be used as both. A third-degree burn can happen quickly if a child were to grab a coal or have a flame catch their clothing, burning their skin with drastic results.
Your Fire Pit May Not Be Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance
Your fire pit may not be covered in your homeowners insurance policy, especially if you installed the fire pit after your home’s policy was created. Since fire pits can pose a fire hazard on your property by potentially injuring people or items, you will want to speak with a lawyer as soon as a child’s injury occurs so you can have legal counsel for taking responsibility for the claim.
You Are Held Liable for the Injury
In simpler terms, premises liability means that the homeowner is responsible for injuries on their property, even if they took all precautions to keep everyone safe and the injury that occurred was out of their control.
When you are held responsible for the burn that took place on your property, you need a lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer can help you prove if the child in question was acting dangerously around the fire pit or that you took precautions to make your fire pit as safe as possible. Perhaps most important, your lawyer can help provide evidence that the child who got burned was trespassing on your property.
While you will likely still be held liable for the injury and your insurance required to pay for the medical costs, your lawyer can help reduce charges for homeowner negligence. Your lawyer will also assist you in filing insurance claims and settling disputes so you and the injured party can resume your lives without further legal issues.