Am I liable if a person trespasses on my property and get injured? 36 Answers as of June 28, 2013

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
No, unless you had something that could be considered a trap. Typically, a trespasser cannot sue an owner for damages.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/23/2012
Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
No as long as the danger was not hidden.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/23/2012
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
Assuming you are the owner or considered the possessor of the property generally speaking you're not liable for trespassers except in certain instances.

Without more I'm not able to answer this question with any confidence since I don't know if you set a trap for which you would be liable or had knowledge of the trespass and allowed to be exposed to a known risk.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 8/23/2012
Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
Yes even to trespassers.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/20/2012
Reeves Aiken & Hightower | Arthur K. Aiken
In South Carolina, a landowner has liability to an injured trespasser only in unusual circumstances. You need an attorney to explore your issue more carefully.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/19/2012
    Dressler & Peters, LLC | John Wagener
    A trespasser is one who enters the premises of another without permission or without express or implied invitation or one who goes beyond the scope of his invitation onto the premises. While a landowner or occupier does not owe a duty to a trespasser to see that the premises are safe for his use, (See Marcovitz v. Hergenrether, 302 Ill. 162, 167, 134 N.E. 85, 87-88 (1922); Smith v. Goldman, 53 Ill.App.3d 632, 368 N.E.2d 1052, 11 Ill.Dec. 444 (2d Dist.1977), a landowner or occupier owes a duty to trespassers to refrain from willful and wanton conduct. Bofman v. Material Serv. Corp., 125 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1064, 466 N.E.2d 1064, 1072-73, 82 Ill.Dec. 262, 270-71 (1st Dist.1984). If, however, a property owner knew or should have known that an artificial condition on his property presented a risk of death or serious bodily injury, and if the owner knew of or had reason to anticipate the presence of trespassers in dangerous proximity to the hazard, then the property owner had a duty to exercise ordinary care to warn of the condition. Lee v. Chi. Transit Auth., 152 Ill.2d 432, 605 N.E.2d 493, 178 Ill.Dec. 699 (1992), applying the Restatement (Second) of Torts 337.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/19/2012
    Lehner & Rodrigues | Michael A Lehner
    As a general rule you have no duty to protect a trespasser. You should however inform your homeowner's insurer as soon as possible so they can deal with the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/19/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    It depends upon the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    Under Mississippi law a landowner owes a duty to a trespasser to not intentionally harm him, and to warn of any known hidden dangers. So the answer to your question depends on what caused the trespasser's injury. If you intentionally hurt him, you can held liable. If you knew of a hidden danger on the property and failed to warn him, and that hidden danger caused his injury, you can be held liable. Otherwise, probably not.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/19/2012
    Holcomb Chaffin Rogers & Finn | William M. Chaffin
    Possibly, but unlikely if you did nothing toward causing the injury.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Lapin Law Offices
    Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
    Assuming the trespasser is not a child, the general rule is that you are only liable to a trespasser if you either: (1) acted willfully or wantonly; or (2) you knew that the trespasser was on your property or should have that people constantly trespassed and you failed to warn of a hidden danger on your property that was not observable to the trespasser. "Willful" means intentional and with actual knowledge that a danger existed and that injury was a likely result. "Wanton" means intentionally and with reckless disregard of its consequences. As to the second theory of liability, each element must be met for you to be liable. The rules are slightly different, and your potential liability greater, if the trespasser was a child. You do not state that a child was involved so I will not discuss the differences for children. You do not mention of the facts surrounding the trespasser's injury so I cannot answer whether you might be liable. If you have insurance, you should also contact them as they would handle the claim for you. In addition, you may want to consult with an attorney to discuss your potential liability.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    You could be, but it depends on many factors: How was it that the person got injured? Was there some hazardous condition of your property? If so, was it natural, or man-made? Did you know about it? If not, was it something you would have known about had you gone and taken a look? If someone was injured on your property, report it to your insurance company. They will investigate, evaluate liability and decide whether to pay the claim or put up a defense on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Most likely not. The duty owed to a trespasser by a landowner is the lowest that is recognized by the law. If you get a letter from an attorney just turn it over to your insurance carrier and let them handle it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A.
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A. | Howard Mishkind
    Only if the trespasser was a child under a certain age and the Injury was caused by an unsafe condition that was not open and obvious. Normally unless the injury is intentional to the trespasser there is no duty and thus no liability for injury.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    It is not an automatic answer. It depends on the nature and location of the hazard that lead to the injury. If you have homeowner's insurance, turn it in to them and they will handle the matter for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    The Phillips Law Firm
    The Phillips Law Firm | Joseph J Ganz
    In Washington the duty of a landowner to a trespasser is very low but it does exist. If you know of an inherently dangerous condition that a trespasser cannot appreciate or discover and you fail to warn of the danger or post no trespassing signs you may be liable for injury to such a person. It really depends on the facts and circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Only if you have a condition that is dangerous on the property and you know or should have known that someone would go there and get hurt. Very unlikely. Ronald Reagan used to tell the lie presented to him about the burglar that fell through a skylight and got $ 1.6 million. That was a lie that the insurance companies had him tell, but the truth was a 16 year high school student was ordered to go up on a gym roof in California to retrieve a ball and fell through a glass skylight to the gym floor 40 feet below. The skylight had been painted over so the student could not tell that it wasn't part of the roof. The injured student after years of litigation got only $ 1.6 million but he was a paraplegic and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Hardly enough money for such a serious injury and certain not enough to take care of him so of course when he ran out of money we taxpayers have to foot the bill.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    The Law Offices of Charles Pernice | Chas Pernice
    Possibly. CA law says the owner of property is liable for dangerous conditions on the property that he knew or should have known about and failed to take remedial action. A trespasser can still sue you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    According to the Washington State Supreme Court in DEGEL v. MAJESTIC MOBILE MANOR, 129 Wn.2d 43, 49, 914 P.2d 728 (1996), "Under the common law of this state a landowner's duty of care to persons on the land is governed by the entrant's common law status as an invitee, licensee or trespasser. Tincani, 124 Wn.2d at 128; Erti v. Parks & Recreation Comm'n, 76 Wn. App. 110, 113, 882 P.2d 1185 (1994), review denied, 126 Wn.2d 1009 (1995). The parties involved in the present case agree, for purposes of the motion for summary judgment, that Jason was an invitee at the time he was injured. Generally, a landowner owes trespassers and licensees only the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring them, whereas to invitees the landowner owes an affirmative duty to use ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    You may be liable but if the individual was indeed a "trespasser" as defined in case law in Washington, your duty is very limited. Speak to my office free of charge but certainly notify your homeowners insurance company asap. You have a contractual (Insurance is a contract) duty to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Generally NO. Tresspassers take their chances when they tresspass upon another's property.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Maybe. You can't leave hidden dangerous conditions.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    If they are a trespasser under the law, you are not legally responsible.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    It depends on what caused the injury. You need to give more details. You also need to report the event to your homeowners insurance carrier.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    John Ratkowitz
    John Ratkowitz | John Ratkowitz
    It depends on the age of the trespasser. If the trespasser was a child, then it is more likely that you can be held responsible. If the trespasser was an adult, the answer is probably not. If you want a precise summary of the law, click here for the Model Civil Jury Charge. Look at Charge 5.20F and the instructions relative to the duty owed to trespassers. Good luck. Please note that by attempting to answer your question, I am not acting as your attorney. I will do nothing further to protect or preserve your interests in the absence of any additional discussion with you about this matter.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    It depends on the nature of the defect (hidden or not). The duty to a trespasser is very low.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    As long as you did not set a booby trap, you owe no responsibility to trespassers.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Buchholdt Law Offices | Jon M. Buchholdt
    That depends upon the circumstances, but, yes liability could attach if the trespasser was injured by an unsafe condition, for instance, a child trespassing into an unfenced swimming pool.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    Most states have a premises liability statute, which provides the duty of care owed by a landowner. In Colorado, this statute is the Colorado Premises Liability statute, C.R.S. ?13-21-115. Under this statute, the duty of the landowner depends upon the status of the injured party: whether a trespasser (a person who enters unto the land of another without the landowner's consent), a licensee (a person who enters unto the land of another with the landowners consent but for the person's own convenience or purposes) or an invitee (a person who enters onto land of another to transact business in which both the landowner and the person have an interest).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    McDowell Shaw Colman & Garcia | Courtney B. Lockhart
    It depends on the nature of your relationship with the person.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Perhaps, call your insurance carrier and if you have no insurance, an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney