If I let somebody pick fruit from my property and post at own risk am I liable if they were to have an accident? 4 Answers as of February 21, 2012

If I let somebody pick fruit from my property but post β€œat own risk,” am I liable if they have an accident?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Possibly, depends on how accident happened.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/7/2011
Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
Maybe. Depends how accident occurs.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/6/2011
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
If you let them pick fruit on your property, then they are no longer trespassers, and are either licensees or invitees. The duty you owe a trespasser is not to intentionally harm them. I don't believe an "at own risk" sign would deter me from bringing a claim against you if someone was injured on your property as a result of any negligence on your part.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/3/2011
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
If you let someone on your property with permission, that person is considered an "invitee" under the law (as opposed to a trespasser or licensee who is only given permission to be on the land for a limited purpose). You have a higher duty to an invitee than to a trespasser or licensee. However, that still does not make you the insurer of the guest. Most states will hold you responsible for any unreasonable hazard on the property that cause injury such as a poorly covered hole, or some other aspect of the property that could foreseeably cause harm. Picking fruit could be dangerous depending on what kind (e.g., is tree climbing involved)? The safest route for you is to ask anyone who wants to pick fruit on your property to sign a waiver of liability, releasing you from any responsibility for any injury caused by any condition on your property including from your own negligence. The proper language to use in a release can be tricky and is also very jurisdiction dependent - the case law in any given state will define which terms fully protect you, and which do not - so if you really want to protect yourself, you should either hire a lawyer to draw up a waiver for you, or talk to other property owners in the area who may have already done so.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/21/2012
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