What If someone Gets Injured in My Home, Do I Have to Pay? Also, Can I Be Liable If a Trespasser Is Injured on My Property?

Yes, sometimes. A trespasser is essentially an unwanted guest. It is someone who comes onto the property without consent, permission or any right to be on the property. Under the law a trespasser receives very or no protection by the owner of the property. So, if he or she is injured on your property, you really should not be held responsible. All you need to do as the owner is to not engage in "willful or wanton misconduct" against this trespasser. A conduct is "Willful or Wanton" if it is in reckless disregard of the safety of another. This is different from your duty to warn of a dangerous condition. You would be considered negligent if you did not warn of a dangerous condition if that condition is not open and obvious to the trespasser.

Sometimes you could have a guest or someone who is legally on your property but then ventures off to areas that they are not authorized to go to. For instance, the person may be allowed to be in the building but then decided to climb to the roof and falls right through. The court would hold that once the person climbed on the school roof, he became a trespasser.

Also keep in mind that you should not encourage or allow trespassing. If your property has no borders or is used as a shortcut, you are inviting trouble. It is all about foreseeability. It is certainly foreseeable that you know about a dangerous condition and did not care to prevent or warn of this condition.

In large properties, it is a good idea to post "no trespassing" signs or place some sort of barrier. This way, you can argue that the person knew he or she was trespassing. In all events, you have a duty to make your property safe or warn the person of the condition of the property that you know involves an unreasonable risk of harm.


Sometimes you have a guest on your property, who ventures off to areas that they are not authorized to go to.

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