With the recent popularity of Pokémon Go, there has unfortunately been an increase in trespassers and trespasser injury. Due to this rising problem, more and more property owners are concerned with their liability when it comes to trespasser injuries.
Can you be sued for a trespasser’s injuries? Even if someone is injured on your property, the law should be 100% on your side if they broke the law to do so?
Unfortunately, there are some cases in which a trespasser can sue and even win a case of personal injury against the property owner despite the fact they have been trespassing.
The Basics Of Homeowner Liability For Trespassers
In some instances, trespassing on your property will be inevitable. For example, if your property is also a quick and easy short cut to a nearby park or there is an old building on your property that has a reputation for being haunted, you should expect a high possibility of people will end up trespassing the area.
In these types of cases, a property owner will need to take extra precautions in order to warn trespassers of any possible dangers in the area. However, this in no way means that you as a property owner must protect any trespassers that enter the property. You are only expected to show a reasonable amount of warning or protection to those that do trespass.
For example, if that ‘haunted’ house of yours is structurally dangerous, then you must absolutely have signs and other warnings in place to ensure that trespassers are aware of the hazards within the house or even around the property. If you do not make an effort to warn trespassers and they are injured by hazards you had been aware of, then you can be liable for their injuries.
Use Of Deadly Force Or Wanton Conduct Towards Trespassers
However, there is another exception where a trespasser can sue a property owner for their injuries. If a property owner uses deadly force or wanton conduct against trespassers will get you in trouble with the law regardless of whether they had been trespassing.
For example, if a property owner had become increasing frustrated with trespassers and dedicated to set up a bear trap to injury the next trespasser that came along, they would be liable for the trespasser’s injuries.
Basically, any action that a property owner takes in order to deliberately cause harm or death to others on the property is illegal regardless if the person harmed or killed had been trespassing. The one and only exception for using deadly force is in cases of self-defense where a property owner had good reason to believe that the trespasser would cause them or other residents harm.
In general, you can depend on a Florida court to be on your side when it comes down to trespasser injury. However, in these few and specific conditions, you could find yourself sued for their injuries..