In 2015, the Twitterverse erupted in outrage over a woman who was suing her 12 year-old nephew for injuring her during an over-exuberant hug. While she eventually lost the lawsuit, the moral of the story is that these days there is almost no one that is completely safe from being sued by almost anyone – including their own family members. In some cases, you may be more likely to be sued by your own family than a complete stranger.

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While there is little you can do to protect yourself completely from a lawsuit, there are certainly things you can do to minimize your risk. Here are three things to be particularly on the lookout for in a litigious world.

Swimming pools

While swimming pools are one of the most desirable features in a home, they are also a magnet for potential lawsuits. These days, homeowners have to be particularly careful about keeping their pool area protected by a strong fence, preferably with a locked gate. Even if you invite people over for a pool party, if they are injured in any way while swimming in your pool, they can potentially sue.

Sidewalks and walkways

In the winter, keeping walkways and driveways free of snow and ice is the responsibility of the homeowner and in many cases, this includes the sidewalk in front of your home. If someone were to slip and fall on ice that was not properly melted or is injured as a result of snow that has piled up on your front sidewalk, driveway or walkways, you could potentially be sued. If you live in an area with heavy winter snows and cold weather, you might want to contact a personal injury lawyer like Bennett & Sharp PLLC proactively to determine what your personal liability might be in the event of an accident.

Dog bites

While there is nothing you can to do 100% guarantee your dog will never bite anyone under any circumstances, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from being sued. First and foremost is keeping your dog’s immunizations up-to-date and ensure they are properly licensed. Making sure your dog attends some kind of obedience training and responds promptly to basic commands can also be highly beneficial.

No matter what you do, there is no way to 100% guarantee you will never end up being sued, but being sued also doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Many people successfully defend themselves in lawsuits simply because they did their best to make their home safe and secure for visitors, guests and even trespassers.