If A Client is Injured During a Showing, Who is Liable?
If you have your house listed for sale, it is typically an exciting time. Every time a new person walks through the door during a showing or open house could be the opportunity to sell a home and start their new life somewhere else. The last thing anyone expects is for someone to be injured during a real estate showing, however, accidents may happen, and if you were a potential buyer of a home and injured while being shown a possible home, you should understand who may be responsible for your injuries.
Real Estate Agent or Broker
If the real estate agent or broker had reason to know or suspect that there were dangerous conditions or hazards on the property they were showing and failed to either remove those dangers prior to the showing or failed to warn the potential homebuyers of the hazards, they may be held liable for any injuries or damages suffered to the victim.
If the real estate agent created the hazard as they were setting up the home for a showing, such as adding additional furniture, mopping the floor and leaving it wet, or having a candle lit that caused a burn to a victim, the real estate agent will be responsible for the injuries suffered.
In some cases, if there was danger or hazard on the homeowner’s property, and the homeowner failed to remove it or failed to warn the real estate agent or the potential buyers of the danger, the homeowner will be responsible for any damages or injuries to a victim. In these cases, the victim may file a claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy.
Any potential buyer of a home that enters through a showing or open house is considered an “invitee” according to the law. This means that depending on the circumstance either the homeowner, real estate agent or both have a duty to the invitee to ensure that the premises is safe for any visitors.
Ways To Avoid Liability
If you are a homeowner or real estate agent showing a home, you should make sure to remove any possible dangers or hazards. Some ways to ensure that a home is safe could include making sure all stairways and walkways are illuminated, turn on all the lights, remove hazardous items (even knife blocks on the kitchen counters), make sure all rugs are secured so that invitees cannot trip over them, and ensure that furniture and other items are cleared from common paths.
Let Us Help You Today
If you were injured during a real estate showing or an open house, you have the right to receive compensation from either the homeowner or the real estate agent. The determination of who will be liable rests on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Schedule a consultation with the experienced personal injury attorneys at O’Donnell Law Offices. We proudly serve clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton, and Pittston. Call us at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.