It’s actually rare for a trespasser to successfully sue a property owner for an injury that occurred on their property, but it does happen. Generally, if someone trespasses on your property and they get hurt, you will not be liable. The law is quite complicated in this area, however, which may leave you wondering, “Can I be held liable for a trespasser’s injuries?”
General Rule Regarding Trespasser’s Injuries
In most cases, a property owner is not liable for injuries caused to a trespasser, however, there are exceptions. The general rule is that most property owners can’t anticipate that someone will enter their property without their permission, therefore, they can’t be expected to warn trespassers of a danger that exists.
If your property lies near a local park, it’s recommended that you fenced in your yard, because if you know that people are likely to trespass on your property, yet you do nothing to stop them, the general rule no longer applies if a trespasser gets injured.
For example, if you have a dog that likes to dig holes and bury bones, you may need to provide warnings to anyone trespassing on your property that there are holes. If one of the trespassers trips and falls into the hole, they could file a premises liability claim against you for failing to warn them.
Wanton and Willful Conduct
Simply posting a warning, however, doesn’t mean that you aren’t liable for a trespasser’s injury. If you enjoy archery and post a sign to that effect, you can’t simply begin shooting arrows without making sure that there are no trespassers in the area, as this could be wanton and willful conduct. You also may not intentionally set a trap for trespassers that is designed to harm them.
If a trespasser has been injured on your property, contact Jacoby & Meyers at (888) 522-6291.