Visitor Question

Can I get sued if someone stepped on a nail on my property?

Submitted By: Dan (Philadelphia)

A year ago, we were renovating our new home. We hired a private contractor to fix up the house. There was construction about every other day. The renovation took almost a year before it was finally finished. By then the construction was done and the workers were all gone. We moved in and had lived there for about a month.

We then received a letter from someone’s attorney saying that the person stepped on a nail in front of our house. We waited to see if he or she would take any further action.

Today, a year later, we received a letter from the attorney again. Could I get sued because a person stepped on a nail in front of my house? The nail could have been from anywhere. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Dan,

Yes you can get sued if someone steps on a nail in your yard and is injured. Remember though, just about anyone can sue anyone else at anytime. That doesn’t mean they are going to win.

You are right. Anyone could have deposited the nail in your yard. What matters though is that the nail was on your property.

The next issue is how badly the person was injured. Most times when a person steps on a nail they require little more than a tetanus shot. If that’s the worst of it, you have little or nothing to worry about. The most you might be liable for is the cost of the shot.

Although it’s very unlikely you will be sued, you must turn the Attorney’s letters over to your Homeowner’s Insurance Company immediately.

This is exactly why you purchased homeowners insurance in the first place. If, in the unlikely event you are sued, the insurance company will provide, at no cost to you, attorneys to represent you.

If you are sued it’s also likely your insurance company attorneys will “Cross-Claim” against the construction company. Unless you were using nails to build something yourself, it’s more than likely the construction company deposited the nail in your yard.

Go out and make a thorough inspection of your front and rear yards. The last thing you want is for someone else to step on a nail.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 21, 2011

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