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Holiday Decorations or Legal Liability?

The holidays bring with it the opportunity to turn your home and property into a festive celebration for yourself and your neighbors. Some neighborhoods even have made decorating for the holidays an annual tradition among neighbors turning the entire community into an impromptu holiday attraction.

Though if your neighbors do not share in your enthusiasm, your decorations can easily be seen less as a festive celebration and more of a public eyesore. It may be hard to distinguish when personal preference crosses over into a public nuisance, opening you up to legal liability.

There are no laws preventing you from expressing your love for the holidays by turning your front yard into a scene better suited for a Macy's or the North Pole but there are a few things to keep in mind while you decorate that could help prevent your holiday cheer into becoming a legal suit.

Public Nuisance or Enthusiastic Display?

While there may be no laws preventing you from illuminating your home in millions snowflake-shaped lights, there are regulations about intruding upon neighbors property rights. If your light display is bright enough to cause disruption to your neighbor's life by shining directly into a window or preventing them from safely backing out of their driveway, you may be opening yourself up to legal ramifications. The disruption and creation of unsafe conditions could be enough for your neighbor to bring a legal suit against you and with enough affected neighbors willing to come forward, you could be looking at a public nuisance situation.

Liability of Injury

Cases brought against homeowners for public nuisance may never actually see any financial repercussions but cases of personal injury can become costly and have a higher chance of seeing their day in court. If your holiday display creates hazardous or unsafe conditions for anyone on your property, as a homeowner you are liable for any injuries that person may sustain. So if you have tripping hazards posed by hundreds of electrical cords or low-hanging decorations, it may be best to address them before an injury occurs.

Should You Cancel Your Festive Display?

While it is not necessary to completely cancel your plans to decorate your home because of a potential liability, it would be beneficial to think over your proposed holiday cheer. Also, check to be sure your display poses no hazards to those legally on your property. If you feel you experienced an accident due to irresponsible decorating, contact us today.

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