The Liability Of Selfies: What Business And Property Owners Should Know
Dan Levenson March 10, 2020
If you’re a business owner, selfie-enthusiast or property owner, understanding the liability of selfies is crucial. This can help you avoid huge financial losses arising from lawsuits, medical bills or hefty fines. Why?
The number of people who die while trying to take a perfect selfie is increasing exponentially. According to a study conducted by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, 15 Americans died in 2014, 39 the following year, and 73 died in the early months of 2016.
Another study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care reports that 259 people died worldwide while trying to take selfies between 2011 and 2017. That number could be significantly higher if you add distracted driving.
But despite the high risk, people continue taking selfies on dangerous spots. For instance, thousands of roofers and urban explorers visit steep cliffs, scale skyscrapers, bridges, and cranes to take cool shots every year. This begs the question:
Who Can Be Held Legally Responsible For Selfie Injuries Or Deaths?
There is no definitive law that defines who can be held liable for injuries or death when taking a selfie. However, there are some factors that can contribute immensely to pinpointing who can be found responsible. Knowing these factors can help you make some informed decisions.
If you own a property with a great scenic cliff where people like to take cool selfies, it may be wise to place warning signs or even fence it off to prevent visitors from getting too close. This is extremely important if you know the cliff is unstable or breaking off into the ocean.
Although you can argue that the person taking selfies should be careful, he/she can say they were unaware of the cliff’s instability or how unsafe your property was. This can leave you exposed to liability.
Therefore, property and business owners should ensure that popular selfie spots on buildings, ships, and bridges have warning signs or barriers.
Attractive Objects On Your Land
As a landowner, you may be held liable for injuries to trespassing kids if it is caused by an object that can attract children. The most common objects include swimming pools, cars, sand, lumber piles, and trampolines.
The liability for a kid injured while taking a selfie may be higher than those of adults. Nevertheless, the best way to avoid any loss is to have proper warnings displayed.
Every adult has a duty not to endanger his/her life and those others when taking a selfie. If one does so, most state and federal laws will hold him/her responsible for any injury or death.
But if the individual taking a selfie is a minor, then some states have changed the law to take the teenager’s inability to assume and comprehend the risks. For instance, a kid below the age of 7 cannot be said to be negligent.
Therefore, age and status can play a big role in determining liability when things head south and negligence is taken into account.
Taking a selfie while driving or having passengers take selfies of you is distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 9 people get killed every day due to distracted driving. Although most of them are not directly linked to taking selfies, some are.
It is important to keep in mind that taking selfies while driving puts your life and that of others at risk. If you do so, you will be held liable for injuries, harm and damages you cause.
It’s wise to be safe when taking selfies. Don’t jeopardize your health and the safety of others trying to take the perfect shot.
- Selfie-enthusiasts: Always watch out for and read warning signs.
- Business and property owners: Put warning signs on popular selfie spots and contact your insurer immediately if someone gets harmed or injured on your premises.
To learn more about the liability of selfies, contact Insure Your Company. We have a team of experts ready to assess your business or properties for dangerous spots, advise you on the appropriate measures to take and help you secure the right insurance coverage and documentation.