Trespassing is the simple idea of someone being somewhere they aren’t supposed to be such as a boarded up, old house, a warehouse with a “Do Not Enter” sign or someone else’s backyard or property. If you don’t think you’re the kind of person to break rules, you’ve probably never considered the danger of trespassing on someone else’s property. But, there’s a chance you already have if
- you’ve cut across a neighbor’s lawn on the way to work,
- gone jogging on a trail that cut through private property,
- your kids have ever jumped a fence to play somewhere or you’ve
- parked and tailgated in a commercial parking lot after closing time.
What happens if you trip and fall while doing any of those things? If you are injured while trespassing on someone else’s property, can you sue them? Who is responsible? As with all premises liability cases, it boils down to negligence, except it doesn’t stop there. Proving who is liable for injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident while trespassing is based on a few more things. Two of these things are the likelihood of a trespassing occurring and the age of the injured party.
Was Trespassing Probable? Popularity and Premises Liability
To put it simply, the more likely someone is to trespass a location, the more responsibility the owner has to keep it safe; the less likely, the less responsibility. If owners know there is a good chance their property will be trespassed upon, they are charged with the duty to give reasonable warning to prevent injury. A landowner is not obligated to protect you, but if he or she knows (or should know) that people are trespassing, it is the the landowner’s duty to eliminate artificial conditions that may cause injury or death.
When Kids Trespass: Understanding the Attractive Nuisance Exception
As a parent, you’d probably be happy to have a naturally curious child who liked to explore and play. But, with that same nature comes room for risk. What if your child wanders onto someone else’s property while chasing a stray kitten? Or if a group of kids (yours included) finds a boarded up warehouse with the coolest ropes to swing from? Or, more commonly, is running around someone else’s yard and falls over abandoned yard equipment?
The doctrine of “attractive nuisance” requires a landowner to have precautionary methods in place if the landowner owns property that contains something that kids find attractive and that might also be dangerous. This could be something that could entice a child to trespass such as a pool, trampoline or swing set or even a well, fountain or set of stairs! The law requires us to keep in mind that children may not have the same comprehensive ability as adults to be aware of dangerous situations. As adults, it is our job to consider if children will be tempted to trespass on our land and come into contact with potential danger. One caveat is that many courts deem “man-made” objects to be more of an enticement than those that occur naturally. So, for example, one has a greater legal obligation to put safeguards up around a pool than a lake or pond.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Can Protect You and Your Children
A lawyer can protect you and your children through examining evidence, interpreting that evidence and investigating the situation. These are the main things that must be kept in mind when understanding the strength of your slip and fall case. Unless you are threatening the life of a landowner, there is no cause or situation where it would be plausible for danger to be intentionally befall a trespasser.
If you, your loved one or child has been injured in a slip and fall accident while trespassing on someone else’s property, the team at Green Law Firm can protect your rights! We’ll review your case at 100 percent no risk to you. Call us toll free today at 888-800-2455, and let us help you recover the compensation you need to get life back to normal!