Neighbors kids are riding bikes in my driveway. The driveway is safe and well maintained. What are my risks of being sued? 9 Answers as of June 18, 2013

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
If there is a "defect" which causes one of them to get hurt, you could have a claim against you. This does NOT mean that the kid would win. The kids are considered "trespassers" and under Michigan law, you owe no responsibility to trespassers, except to not set up a booby trap. However, young kids are a different thing, due to their youth and immaturity. What you might do is: 1) call your homeowners insurance company and ask for them to suggest something. 2) tell the parents of the kids that the kids are doing that, and that you want the parents to control the situation; then, follow it up with a letter to the parents, and of course, keep a copy of the letter. This could dump the responsibility back on the parents. 3) post a sign telling "NO TRESPASSING" and take a photo of it in place, with a date stamp on the picture.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/18/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
There is always a risk that you will be sued for an injury on your property, even if you are not careless or negligent. Just make sure that the driveway is always clear of items like rocks and hoses, and clean.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/17/2013
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Thank you for an interesting question. Ironic, that I used to ride my bike in a neighbor's driveway when I was a kid, now I'm a member of a profession that makes people afraid to allow it. In order to make a claim against a property owner the injured party has to show that he was injured due to a defective condition of the property and the owner knew or should have known of the hazard, had an opportunity to correct it, and failed to take action. So if a kid hurt himself riding his bike in your driveway, his parents would have to show what caused him to fall and that you failed to take action to prevent it. I hate to tell you to prohibit the kids from having good clean fun, but there are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself: 1) contact your insurance company and ask if you have a "med pay" provision in your policy. That way, if a kid is hurt, your insurance will cover the medical bills whether its your fault or not, which may keep the parents out of a lawyer's office. 2) Motion activated surveillance camera. Not that expensive, and if a kid is hurt, this will show how it happened.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/18/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Not very great, and your house hold insurance will cover any suit. The injured party must show negligence; if there is a large amount of water on the surface, they might try to claim negligence on your part.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2013
Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
In order to bring a successful negligence claim in Michigan for any premises liability, the person suing has to prove there was some negligence on the part of the premises owner that lead to injury to another. Someone who is injured on a premises doesn't automatically have a claim because the injury happened. So unless someone could prove there was some defect or danger on your premises which was a cause of an injury, no suit/claim is likely to succeed. Further, Michigan law holds that even if there is a danger, if it is open and obvious, then it is the responsibility of the injured person to have seen and avoid the danger, such that there is no duty on the premises owner to fix or warn of open and obvious dangers. The law can be slightly different as to minors and also slightly different as to licensees or trespassers. If any claim is brought, your homeowners insurance should cover same and they would defend you with counsel of their choosing - as long as you gave notice of the claim and cooperated with their handling of it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/17/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    If your driveway is free of any dangerous defects, there is little chance that anyone will be hurt by any negligence on your part. Consequently your chances of being sued successfully for any injuries incurred by the neighbors' kids are slim.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/17/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    As long as you don't pour oil on the driveway or run into them with your car or the neighbors are normal and not the litigious sort, probably pretty slim.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/17/2013
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    If the driveway is safe, you are not at risk for being sued. It is only if there is a defect in your property caused by some negligence that you have to worry about being sued.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/17/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If they fall you would only be responsible if there you are negligent in some way. IF they fall due to a defect in your driveway, ie. crack or hole, IF a lawsuit is brought, they must show you in fact did something that rose to the elements of negligence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2013
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