Can You Sue if You’re Injured While Trespassing on Property?
It may seem crazy that the law would require you to protect trespassers on your property. After all, if they have no right to be there, why should you be liable for their injuries? Like it or not, the law in Louisiana does offer some sort of protection to trespassers. Part of this is due to public policy. Trespassers are still human beings. We don’t want them to get hurt if it can be avoided. We also have to keep in mind that trespassers aren’t all hooded bandits looking to rob you blind. They could be children or joggers who are used to using your yard as a shortcut. It is for these people that the law is designed.
If you’re a homeowner, you have a certain responsibility to keep visitors safe. If you’re having a BBQ or party, you owe your guess a certain amount of due diligence. If you have large holes in your backyard, then you need to fill then in so people don’t fall and get hurt. At a minimum, you would have to cordon these areas off so people can see that they’re dangerous. It would also be a good idea to put a sign up that warns people of these dangerous holes. Not only would this protect your guests, but it would also, by extension, warn trespassers of the danger as well.
If you are sued by someone who was trespassing on your property, you should call and talk to a personal injury attorney in Lake Charles right away. The same is true if you were hurt while trespassing on someone’s land. Even though you didn’t have permission to be there, you may still have a possible claim for damages.
When Could a Homeowner Owe a Trespasser a Duty of Care?
In Lake Charles, you could have a potential claim against a homeowner even if you were trespassing. For example, you may always cut through someone’s yard on the way to school. They may even know you trespass on their property. if their yard isn’t fenced in, there are probably a lot of people who cut through their yard. If this is the case, they owe you and everyone else a duty to keep their land safe from dangerous conditions. They may also be required to warn people of a possible danger on their land.
In order to successfully prove your claim, you need to show some or all of the following:
- The property owner knew there was a dangerous condition on their property
- They intentionally created the dangerous condition to keep trespassers away
- They knew that the dangerous condition could cause a serious injury or death
- The danger was not obvious to trespassers
- There was no way for the trespasser to avoid the condition until it was too late
- The homeowner didn’t take reasonable steps to warn people about the condition
If you can prove that these circumstances exist, you may be entitled to damages. The law is even more forgiving to trespassers when they’re children.
The Property Owner May Be Liable for an Attractive Nuisance
The law is not very forgiving when children are harmed on someone else’s property. While kids can technically be considered a trespasser, we do treat them differently. Maybe the kids are used to running on your lawn to get their ball. Or they may like to come to the back fence and say hi to your dog. It could even be a matter of your having a pool without a fence. It’s almost as if you’re waving to children and taunting them with our property. This is what’s referred to in Lake Charles as an attractive nuisance.
If your child is hurt because of an attractive nuisance in Louisiana, you should call and talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles.
Contact Our Office and Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re hurt on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for damages. This is true whether you were allowed to be on the property or not. For example, if you use someone’s yard or alleyway as a shortcut on the way to the park, you’re technically a trespasser. If you get hurt by some dangerous condition on their property, you should call our office right away.
Call and set up a date and time to meet with one of our experienced personal injury lawyer. The consultation is free and you don’t pay a dime until your case is settled.