Real estate Q&A: Double-check insurance before throwing party with a bounce house
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Dec. 14, 2017 – Question: We are having a party for my kid’s birthday and she wants it with a bounce house and other outside attractions in our backyard. I am concerned with my liability if someone gets injured at the party. What are my rights? – Amanda
Answer: You are rightfully concerned about this because you may be sued if someone gets injured on your property. The suit will likely accuse you of being negligent in your duties to keep your property safe.
You, as the homeowner and the party-giver, have the responsibility to act in a reasonably prudent way, considering the circumstances. This means that if a child is hurt as a result of a pure accident not caused by negligence, you should be clear of any liability for the injuries.
Attractions like bounce houses and trampolines have some inherent danger, so you should carefully manage the children and restrict how many play at one time. Also, ensure the attraction is properly set up and secured to the ground. Read and follow the warnings from the manufacturer and rent from a reputable dealer to make sure the equipment is properly cared for.
Even if you are very careful, but a child is still injured, you will likely be sued. While there is a big difference between just being sued and losing a lawsuit, either can be expensive.
Check your homeowner’s insurance for this type of coverage and consider purchasing an umbrella policy for additional, inexpensive, coverage. Speak to your agent if you are unsure about what your policy covers.
It is also important that you do not let your concern about being sued stop you from enjoying your life and property. There are millions of incident-free backyard parties every year. While it is great that you are aware of the potential issue, use this concern to take reasonable precautions for the safety of your guests and make it a great, and safe, party for your little one.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.
Copyright © 2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.