The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

What happens if a trespasser is hurt on another's property?

During the holiday season, Pennsylvanians may receive a multitude of invitations to attend parties, get-togethers, and outings with friends and relatives. As they enter onto the properties of other individuals, they may be made aware of any potential dangers that lurk in those places. If they suffer harm from falls, trips, or other accidents while the invitees of the property owners, then they may have rights to compensation for their losses.

However, not every person who enters the property of another party has been invited to be there. When a person enters onto the property of another without the property owner's permission, then the entering party may be considered a trespasser. Trespassers can face criminal liability for their actions and may not have the right to sue the property owners if they are harmed while on the other person's land without consent.

One way that a trespasser may have the right to sue a property owner for their injuries is if the property owner intentionally set up a hazard. For example, if the property owner knew that the trespasser was coming on their land and wanted to deter the individual through a dangerous trap, and the trespasser was harmed as a result, then the property owner may be liable for the trespasser's injuries.

Also, if a property owner knows that their property is regularly trespassed upon and they do not take actions to stop the trespassing or remedy hazards that the trespassers face, then he or she may have to compensate trespassers who are harmed on the property. Property owners who post "no trespassing" or "private property" signage can make it clear to others that they are not allowed to use the land. Such actions may give property owners protection from premises liability lawsuits from trespassers. These matters can be quite complicated, though, and are heavily fact-dependent. Therefore, those who are interested in either pursuing or defending against a premises liability lawsuit should consider discussing the matter with a qualified legal professional.

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