Most Americans assume that if there is a person on their property uninvited, then they are not liable if the trespasser suffers injury. In some cases this is true. For example, if a robber is on your property and falls into a hole you have dug for deck supports, it is unlikely that the courts would hold you liable for the robber’s injury.
However, there do exist situations where the law may hold you liable for injury that trespassers experience. According to FindLaw, your liability when it comes to injuring trespassers depends on the source of the injury as well as the age of the trespasser.
In the aforementioned example with the robber and the deck support holes, you are likely not liable. Perhaps you did not mark the holes out clearly, but the robber was not there at your behest. You are not obligated to protect adult persons on your property that you did not specifically invite to be there.
On the other hand, you also cannot willfully create situations to injure trespassers. If the robber fell into a pit with sharpened stakes, in this instance the law may hold you liable for the robber’s injuries.
Age of the trespasser
The law sees children in a different light. For instance, if you have a swimming pool on your property with no fence around it and it attracts curious children, the law may hold you liable if a child drowns.
In general, it is smart to keep a hazard-free property to prevent guests and trespassers alike from sustaining injury. However, awareness of when the law holds you responsible for the injuries of others can help protect you, as well.