What You Should Know When A Trespasser Is Injured On Your Property
When someone gets hurt on your property, you may feel scared that you'll end up getting sued. However, when it comes to trespassers, the laws are a little different. Check out these four facts about trespassers and injury, so you can protect yourself.
You Don't Usually Have to Ensure Their Safety
If you invite someone to your home, and they break their leg when your worn porch collapses, you could be held responsible. Whenever you invite or allow someone onto your property, you have a responsibility to provide reasonable care to ensure their safety. If you knew the porch was damaged and could cause injury (or if the courts determine a reasonable person would have noticed the situation and fixed it), you could have to pay for their injuries. However, a trespasser isn't invited onto your property. They have no valid reason for being there, so you don't have to ensure their safety.
You Can't Intentionally Cause Injury
You don't have to ensure a trespassers safety, but you can't purposely injury people who trespass. In most states, you must avoid engaging in activities that will cause injury to trespassers. For example, you can't dig a pit, cover it with branches to trap anyone who trespasses. If you do, and the trespasser is injured, you may be liable. You also can't randomly shoot people who are just trespassing. However, if the trespasser is attempting to hurt you or your family or you feel your life is threatened, you can usually use deadly force to protect yourself and other people.
If People Trespass a Lot, You Should Post Warnings
In most cases, you don't expect to see a trespasser on your property, and you can't anticipate when one will trespass. However, there are cases where you can expect trespassers. For example, if your property is a popular shortcut to reach another part of town, you may notice a lot of trespassers. This means that now you can anticipate people will be entering your property without your consent, and now you do have some responsibility to them. If you have areas of your property that you know could cause injury to people, you may be expected to give reasonable warning, such as posting signs.
Child Trespassers Are Often Treated Differently
Child trespassers aren't always treated the same as adult trespassers. The exact rules depend on the age of the child and what a child of that age should be expected to understand. For example, a toddler understands a lot less than a 17-year-old. When it comes to children, you want to make sure you don't have any attractive nuisances that children can easily access. Attractive nuisances are anything that could cause harm to a child but is also attractive to a child. It can be a pool, lawnmower, treehouse, etc. You can still have these items on your property, but you must take some steps to prevent children from getting hurt.
When it comes to trespassers, you may still have some responsibilities, so make sure you understand the rules to protect yourself. If someone has been injured on your property, contact a lawyer today to learn what you can do. For more information, check out websites like http://josephbwolfley.com.