Could a trespasser sue you for an injury?

There have been various news stories about someone being on someone else’s property, getting injured and then suing the property owner for liability. This may seem far-fetched, but if you understand California’s premises liability laws, then you will know that it is possible for a property owner to be liable for injuries someone suffers on his or her property even if the person did have permission to be on the property.

According to The Statesman, a property owner is liable if his or her gross negligence caused an injury to another person or if the property owner intentionally injured the person. Obviously, if you intentionally injure someone on your property and no other law covers your actions, then you are responsible for that injury and must pay for it. The key point here is gross negligence. Understanding what this is will help you better understand the law.

Gross negligence defined

Gross negligence is when you are reckless or deliberately set up a situation that would harm someone. So, unless you had a situation where you knew your property was a danger, then you hold no liability for a trespasser’s injuries. In fact, the law protects you even if it is an invited guest who suffers an injury as long as you do not have gross negligence or intentionally hurt them.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that in most cases, it will be difficult for a trespasser to claim gross negligence or intent against you. Because of this, the chances are low that he or she could take you to court and win.