What Happens If A Trespasser Gets Injured On Your Premises?
You are liable for many things that could happen on your premises, including when someone gets injured on your property.
What if a person gets injured on your property without permission to be on your property, who’s responsible?
The answer is way more complicated than you think. Perhaps, not surprisingly, this question leads to a great deal of litigation each year.
Now, every state handles the situation in more or less the same way, making it complicated to analyze.
In such a circumstance, hiring a trespasser liability attorney is what you need to do.
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What Do I Do When I Catch A Person Trespassing?
Many of you have had the misfortune of dealing with trespassers on your property. If you too have encountered the same, it’s time to keep these things in mind.
It might so be that a trespasser has entered your property by mistake. So, before blowing your top and blaming the trespasser, take a moment to remind yourself to keep cool.
Anger begets anger and it is imperative to keep that kind of emotion out of the conversation.
Remember Who You Are Dealing With
When dealing with any trespasser, often you are confronting a person who prefers to disregard the law.
There is a chance they have been on your property before, if not on your land, then someone else’s.
Remember the trespasser might have a weapon with him or her. So, you must deal with them very cautiously, physical aggression is something you must avoid.
One of the other things that you can do when you encounter a trespasser is to warn him. It is not necessary to take legal action right away.
However, you need to take it when he ignores the warning and repeats the same offense.
Often a warning and threat of future legal action if he is caught again is enough to defuse the situation and deter future infractions.
How To Keep Someone Off Your Property Legally?
If you want to keep someone off the property, the laws about defiant trespass might help you.
Under this law, a person commits the crime of defiant trespass if he or she comes onto or stays on the property after being told to stay away.
You can ask a person to stay away from the property that you own or rent either by sending a letter, providing a letter in person or telling them in person.
If you choose to let them know in person, you must have an eyewitness present when you do this. In the case of handing them a letter, you must also have a witness present.
If you mail the letter, send it by certified mail, return receipt requested. You can also keep intruders away by putting up a notice on the property.
Can A Trespasser Sue For Injury And Negligence?
If someone trespasses on your property and they get injured, you would not be liable. You are free from blame, unless:
- You have acted violently or aggressively toward the intruder that causes injury.
- You have been grossly negligent and/or expect the trespassers might enter the property.
For instance, if you know about a serious property hazard and you take no steps to post a warning, you might be liable.
How To Prosecute Someone For Trespassing?
It’s the same way you press charges for anything. You need to get help from an experienced trespasser liability attorney to prosecute the trespasser.
- Prove ownership of the property- you must have ownership rights for the property that’s been invaded. You might own the property outright, lease it or rent it.
- Gather proof of ownership- a copy of the deed, lease, mortgage, etc.
- Establish boundaries of property- when you are bringing charges against a trespasser ensure you know the full extent of the property. The deed must have a description of the property.
Next, when prosecuting a trespasser ensure you locate the right court, prepare a civil complaint and summons, request compensation for damages and file as early as possible.
Statute of limitations vary from state to state. You must have the complaint verified and served to the defendant. The defendant needs notice of the lawsuit to respond.
How Much Can You Sue For Trespassing?
As a property owner, you are entitled to receive compensation for trespassing on your land if you experience any of the circumstances listed below.
- Discomfort and annoyance
- Loss of market value
- Loss of use of the property
- Emotional distress
- Cost of restoration
- Physical injury to the yourself or land
Depending on the severity of the case and the damages incurred, you can receive proper compensation, and it’s always best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
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