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FeaturedJanuary 07, 2024

Can A Trespasser Sue For Injuries in New York?

You May Be Entitled To Compensation If You Were Injured on Someone Else’s Property

You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured on someone else’s property, even if you were trespassing. While trespassers in general cannot sue for injuries sustained while committing the crime of trespassing, there are circumstances in which you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, you should contact us today for a free consultation. We can best explain whether or not you have a claim. We’ve recovered over $200 Million for our injured clients, and will fight for justice on your behalf. Meanwhile, here is what you need to know about whether or not a trespasser can sue for injuries in New York.

When Is a Property Owner Liable for Injuries?

A property owner is liable for injuries only if they act negligently and that negligence led to the injuries. A property owner is generally not found to be negligent if the trespasser was not expected to be on the property.

There are four elements to determining liability in premises liability cases.

  • The property owner must have a duty of care to the trespasser.
  • The property owner must have negligently allowed a hazard to exist without removing or warning of the hazard.
  • The hazard must have caused physical harm. 
  • The hazard must be the cause-in-fact of the injury.

A property owner does not have a duty of care to most trespassers, but there are some exceptions.

Can a Trespasser Sue If They Were Bitten By a Dog?

A trespasser may be able to sue the property owner if they were bitten by a dangerous dog and there were no warning signs about the dog on the outside of the property. Property owners have a duty of care to warn of dangerous animals, and failure to provide that warning could make them liable. 

Can a Trespasser Sue If The Property Was Not Enclosed?

According to the definitions of the trespassing law found in Section 140.00 of the Penal Code of New York, entering onto an unimproved or empty property that is not enclosed without signs excluding access is not criminal trespassing. Therefore, in some cases, general premises liability law applies.

This is because the property owner has a duty of care to ensure that there are no hazards to those who may wander onto the property. If they don’t want to maintain a safe property, they have a duty of care to restrict access.

Can a Trespasser Sue If “No Trespassing” Signs Are Posted?

If “No Trespassing” signs are posted on the property, it is an indication that trespassers are frequent. If trespassers are frequent, that means that they are known to the property owner. Once trespassers are known, the property owner has a duty of care to remove or warn of any hazards.

Likewise, if you are trespassing on the property, you are discovered, and the property owner agrees to your presence by striking up a conversation, you are then a guest, and general premises liability law applies. 

Can I Sue If My Child Was Injured While Trespassing?

A different law applies if children are injured while trespassing. Property owners have a duty of care to remove or warn of hazards that could attract children, such as swimming pools. When these hazards are not enclosed or removed and a child wanders onto the property, the property owner is still liable. 

Contact The Case Handler If You Were Injured on Someone’s Property

If you were injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may be entitled to compensation even if you were trespassing. It is necessary to talk to an experienced attorney who will be able to determine if you have a claim.

The Case Handler has been handling personal injury cases for New Yorkers for almost 20 years. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.

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