Sometimes, people trespass, either knowingly or unknowingly. If you become injured on another person’s property while trespassing, you may wonder if you can still sue. Yes, you were potentially injured due to another party’s negligence. But, you were also not supposed to be there in the first place. As a result, these lawsuits can be complicated. In some cases, an injured trespasser can hold a property owner liable. Read on for more information regarding who is liable for a trespasser’s injuries.
The General Rule
In general, a property owner will not be held responsible for any injuries a trespasser incurs. But, this is not always the case and there are some exceptions to the rule.
The following examples are exceptions to the general rule. A property may be held responsible if the injury is incurred due to:
- Discovered trespassers
- Willful and wanton conduct
- Dangerous dogs
It is generally assumed that a property owner does not expect anyone to trespass on his or her property. But, if it becomes clear that trespassing occurs on a property often, this assumption no longer applies. If a property owner is aware of a danger on his or her property and is aware that people often walk through this property, he can be considered negligent if he does not take care of the hazard or place warning signs.
Willful and Wanton Conduct:
If you engage in dangerous activities on your property, you will need to warn trespassers. For example, if you practice shooting in your backyard and you injure a trespasser or passerby, you may be held responsible. It is also important to know the guidelines of deadly force in your state. For example, there is a big difference between harming someone when you feel your life is in danger and harming someone who is simply walking through your backyard as a shortcut.
Some dogs are dangerous to people and other pets. If you have a dog that could cause harm to someone who enters your property, you will want to put up signs warning trespassers to stay away. Failure to warn can be seen as negligent behavior.
If you are injured on someone’s property and you wish to take legal action, contact our firm today to discuss your case.
Contact our Firm
We understand the impact a serious injury can have on an individual’s life. If you have been injured in New Jersey due to another party’s negligence, please do not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and guide you through your legal options. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.