A Trespasser Was Injured on My Property – Do I Have to Pay?
- Posted on: Apr 15 2019
If someone is trespassing on your property, they’re breaking the law. The bad news is that they may have been in your home, your business, or your other property with malicious intent. The good news is that premises liability laws normally do not apply to trespassers. These people are on your land illegally, and as such, they are usually not allowed to exercise their right to a safe environment. However, that said, there have been a few rare cases in which a trespasser was injured and was able to successfully sue the property owner.
What Can Cause You to Lose Such a Case?
There are a few things that can make you liable for personal injuries, even if someone was trespassing. The first case is if you act aggressively or violently towards the person. For example, if someone is trespassing and you attack them, causing them to fall through a window, you may have opened yourself to liability. On the other hand, if you run at someone and they trip while running away from you, you’re likely safe because you were attempting to chase them off of your property rather than harm them.
There are, of course, some situations where harming a trespasser does not leave you open to liability. If they are seriously attempting to harm you, you are generally free to do whatever it takes to protect yourself and your family.
You Know Someone May Trespass and Knowingly Leave Hazards
If you suspect someone may trespass or if you’ve been incredibly negligent about repairs, it may be possible for the trespasser to sue you. Basically, the law states that you cannot set up traps or knowingly leave parts of your property in disrepair in order to cause harm to anyone who trespasses. It can be hard for trespassers to prove you knowingly didn’t make repairs in order to cause harm, but it’s not completely unheard-of.
This is a fairly simplified discussion of trespassing and premises liability law. Like all areas of the law, it can be incredibly complex and often depends on what the trespasser was doing on your property, their overall intent, and many other factors. That’s why it’s important to have the experts at Held & Hines LLP on your side for any liability case. Contact us today to discuss your case.