Trespassing and injury: Do I have a claim?

Trespassing is a very broad term used in the legal world for the act of being on a property or land without express consent of the land owner. This could range from breaking and entering into a home, to being on private land while walking without knowing that it was not a public pathway.

There are times when people are trespassing by the legal definition, but are hurt in the process. In this case, will that person still have a claim? This blog will give a brief overview on the legalities surrounding this issue.

Express and implied consent

You may have verbal or written consent that you were allowed to be on a property -- in this case, you have express consent. Other times, implied consent might be granted -- for example, you might intentionally trespass in order to prevent injury or save a life.

Are homeowners liable for trespasser injuries?

There are actually some protections for trespassers if they get hurt. For example, a homeowner would probably be liable if he or she intentionally hurt a trespasser beyond the amount needed for self protection, in the case of a person breaking and entering a property.

For example, a person may go to a landowner's home in the event of an argument. The argument might start as a verbal one, but suppose the landowner becomes violent without sufficient reason towards the trespasser, the landowner may be liable for the injuries caused.

Any injury that a person suffers from a land owner may have a personal injury claim, even if they were technically trespassing.

Source: Findlaw, "Traspassing basics," accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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