fbpx
8833 South Redwood Road
Suite C
West Jordan, UT 84088

Call For Free Consultation

(801) 676-5506


Call Us

Homeowner Liability For Trespasser Injuries

Homeowner Liability For Trespasser Injuries

It’s late at night, and a robber is staking out your property for a heist. You’re in bed early and the car is in the garage, perhaps giving the impression that no one’s home. But as the would-be robber creeps toward the back door, stepping onto the tarp covering a deep hole you were digging for your new hot tub, he suddenly falls and breaks his leg. You didn’t mark the area or provide lighting, but you also didn’t expect someone to be creeping around your yard late at night. Question is, are you liable for his injuries? In this particular case, probably not. But sometimes homeowners are in fact liable for trespasser injuries.

What is a Trespasser and When are You Liable for Their Injuries on Your Property?

A trespasser is someone who is not authorized to be on the property at issue. Landowners are not obligated to protect trespassers who enter their property without permission, but they cannot willfully injure them. Also, if a landowner knows — or should know — that there are frequent trespassers on his/her property, he or she will be liable for any injuries caused by an unsafe condition on the property if:

1. The condition is one the owner created or maintained;

2. The condition was likely to cause death or serious bodily harm;

3. The condition was such that the owner had reason to believe trespassers would not discover it (before becoming injured by it); and

4. The owner failed to exercise reasonable care to warn trespassers of the condition and the risk presented.

Trespassing Children and Liability for Injuries

A different rule applies where trespassing children are involved. In the case of children who wander onto property without authorization, property owners do have a duty to ensure that their property is safe. The logic behind this exception is that children are sometimes naïve to dangers on property, and could in fact be lured to dangerous conditions such as a swimming pool, an abandoned well, or heavy machinery. These potential hazards are referred to as “attractive nuisances,” since a reasonable person should know that such conditions were likely to attract children.

Thus, a property owner has a duty to inspect his/her property to see if there are any potentially dangerous conditions that might attract children and, if there are, act immediately to correct the unsafe condition(s). A property owner may be liable for an injury to a trespassing child if he/she knew, or should have known:

1. Young children were likely to trespass in the area of a dangerous condition on the property that involved an unreasonable risk of bodily harm to children;

2. Young children would not be aware of the risk; and

3. The utility of the condition is small compared to the risk it represents.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

What Happens To A Mortgage After Divorce?

Real Estate Attorney In Utah

Is It Time To Modify Alimony?

February Often Brings Divorce Filings

Beneficiaries Of An Estate

Health Technology Lawyer

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Share this Article

About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.