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Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Personal Injury > Can a Trespasser Sue For Injuries On Someone Else’s Property?

Can a Trespasser Sue For Injuries On Someone Else’s Property?


We all know that a property owner is liable for injuries that the owner causes to the people who are supposed to be on the property. But what about people who aren’t supposed to be on the property? What happens when a trespasser is injured?

Trespassers Aren’t Always Who You Think They Are

We tend to think of trespassers as wrongdoers; people who sneak onto property to sleep there, steal something, spy or do any number of activities. But often, people can be trespassers without knowing or thinking about it.

Making it more confusing, someone can even transform into a trespasser. For example, imagine that you are inside a grocery store, shopping. You are looking for someone who works there and can’t find anybody. You walk into the back storage area—an area where customers aren’t supposed to be. You have just gone from an invited guest, into a trespasser, once you walked into the “employees only” area of the store.

People tend to do this all the time—we often will walk across someone else’s lawn or parking lot, just to get to a destination.

What Duty is Owed to Trespassers?

As a general rule, a property owner does not have any duty to protect or warn trespassers of a dangerous condition on the property. All the property owner has to do is refrain from acting intentionally, or completely recklessly (a higher standard than negligence).

So long as the property owner has not acted recklessly or intentionally, there can be no liability for injuries that are caused to a trespasser while on the property that the trespasser is not supposed to be on.

Known Trespassers

But the analysis is a little more complex because there is a class of people called known trespassers. Often, people trespass, but the owner of the property knows of this, allows it, or at least, looks the other way. In this case, the land-owner may have a higher duty to protect trespassers from harm.

Known Dangers

In some cases the property owner may know that there is a danger on the property—for example, an exposed wire that could cause electrocution or a hole in the ground from digging or construction.

Regardless of the victim’s status as a trespasser, a landowner cannot just sit back and allow a trespasser to be injured by a known, dangerous condition. Rather, the property owner must put up a warning (or ideally, fix the dangerous condition).

Children Who Trespass

Property owners are also liable to trespassers who are children or minors, for conditions that are considered to be man-made, and when those conditions are likely to be a draw to younger children. Imagine a property with a playground or a pool, or with an area that is known to be used by skateboarding kids.

Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Cameron Law today at 702-745-4545 for a free consultation if you have been injured on someone else’s property.




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