Can you file a premises liability claim if you were trespassing?

Under ideal circumstances, if you trip, slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. If the property owner’s negligence is attributed to your slip-and-fall, then you may have a compelling premises liability claim against the property owner. But what if you were trespassing when the trip, slip and fall happened?

Whether you can sue the property owner for damages if you slip-and-fall while trespassing on the property in question generally depends on a number of factors. Read on to understand the extent of your rights to damages if you were hurt while trespassing on someone else’s property.

When a trespasser can sue the property owner

Most people presume that trespassers have no right to a claim if they trip, slip and fall. However, this is not entirely true. There are times when you may be entitled to damages despite the fact that you might have been trespassing when the slip-and-fall accident happened. 

If you can prove that there was wilful and wanton conduct and that this led to your slip-and-fall accident, then you might have a case against the property owner. Legally, the law considers any intentional act that disregards the general public’s safety both wilful and wanton.

Here is an example:

When someone discovers that you are trespassing on their property and decides not to forewarn you of the hazards that can lead to injuries, then you may hold them accountable for the resulting damages. 

Also, the property owner cannot set up “booby traps” to intentionally hurt trespassers. If they do, you may hold them liable for injuries caused by such traps. This provision specifically applies to minors. 

Protecting your rights

Premises liability claims are designed to protect those who are hurt while on other people’s premises. If you were hurt while trespassing, however, your right to compensation varies depending on a number of factors. 


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