Can A Trespasser Sue Me?
The short answer is an emphatic “YES”, a trespasser can sue you!
To someone not familiar with the challenges of owning land in 2021, it may come as a surprise to hear that someone illegally trespassing on your land can take legal action against you for an injury or damage to their property they believe you are responsible for causing.
It sounds crazy for sure. Someone accessing your land without your permission and suing you? But it happens and there are many landowners without this affordable protection on their land because they either didn’t consider it or didn’t know it existed. They are left susceptible to the legal problems that trespassers can and do bring. Fortunately, there is a way to help prevent these problems from taking a toll.
If you are new to owning land or were unaware of the dangers that uninvited visitors bring. Keep reading, you’ll want to know this.
What is a Trespasser?
Simply put, a trespasser is anyone who has entered your property uninvited. Regardless of if they are lost, are following an animal or have bad intentions. An uninvited person on your land is a trespasser.
The legal definition doesn’t allow for much wiggle room.
An invited guest can be a trespasser once their invitation expires or when they fail to leave the property after being ordered to do so by the owner.
How DO I Stop Trespassers?
The physical act of taking the precautions necessary to deter trespassers can be as extensive as you need it to be. You can start with a simple sign, all the way up to well-built fences and 24/7 security cameras.
Here are a few of the most common practices to deter trespassers
- NO trespassing signs at every entrance and exit
- Tree stand cameras (Also help your case in court)
- A fence around the perimeter of your property
- Alerting your neighbors to who is and isn’t allowed on your property.
While all of those things are helpful in deterring trespassers and can even help in the event of a lawsuit, you are never fully protected without liability insurance.
Where Does The ALA Come In?
While the ALA can’t monitor your trail cams for you for trespassers. Our protection is the next best thing and a must-have for anyone who owns a piece of vacant land.
It may come as a surprise to hear that the possibility of a lawsuit brought on by a trespasser is valid in the courts. Even if the case is frivolous or does not hold up in court, you can get caught with a significant legal bill. A professional vacant land policy will include a “duty to defend” which will prevent you from losing tens of thousands of dollars in court to protect your vacant land by providing legal counsel on your behalf.
From accidental injuries to negligence, trespassers have found a way to bring legal action upon landowners for decades.
The ALA provides specialized land insurance to help prevent those things from happening to you and your land. Our policies ensure that the landowner is protected in these types of events, as long as their land falls under the correct definitions of vacant land.
So, if you ever have to ask yourself the seemingly ridiculous question of “can a trespasser sue me”, the answer is yes they can. However, taking the appropriate steps to make sure your land insurance is in place can you save you a lot of heartaches and headaches.