Jason Stephens | November 6, 2023 | Premises Liability
Owning property brings many responsibilities, including ensuring people on your land stay safe. But what if someone trespasses on your property in Fort Worth, Texas, and gets hurt? Are you legally responsible for their injuries?
We’ll explore different situations and determine when you might be legally responsible.
Defining Trespassers and Their Rights
Owning property comes with big responsibilities. This article defines when you may need to obey the law and discusses the different situations that can happen when a trespasser is on your property.
In general, a trespasser is someone who comes upon your premises without your permission and who impedes your privacy and/or property interests. Under Texas law, property owners owe no duty of care to trespassers by default.
As a result, you will usually not be liable for injuries to a trespasser unless certain circumstances apply. In that vein, there are a few exceptions to this general rule, which we will cover below.
Understanding Property Liability Exceptions
Property ownership can deviate from the usual rules of responsibility. These exceptions can impact your Fort Worth, Texas, property owner liability. This section will delve into three critical exceptions that can alter the course of property liability.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine is about your responsibility for things on your property that can be interesting but dangerous to kids and trespassers. This does not include naturally forming aspects of the land.
Imagine you have something fun, like a pool. You must make it safe, especially if kids want to play there. Not doing so could make you responsible for accidents. Texas law mandates that you make it secure for everyone, including trespassers.
Willful and Wanton Conduct Exception
Dangerous Dogs Exception
You might be responsible if your dog hurts a trespasser without being provoked. It’s important to keep your dog and visitors safe.
These exceptions show that premises liability law can be complex. It shows how important it is to understand your duties as a property owner in Fort Worth, Texas.
Property Insurance and Liability
Property insurance is another essential aspect to consider. It can provide financial protection in case someone gets hurt on your property. Here’s a closer look at how it can help:
Most property insurance policies include liability coverage. This coverage can help pay for legal expenses and medical bills if a visitor or trespasser gets injured on your property and you’re found responsible. It’s crucial to understand the extent of your liability coverage and whether it covers exceptions like those mentioned above.
Medical Payments Coverage
Some property insurance policies also include medical payment coverage. This can help with medical expenses for injuries on your property, regardless of fault. It can be a helpful safety net for minor injuries and reduce the likelihood of legal disputes.
Discuss Coverage With Your Insurance Provider
To ensure adequate protection, you should talk with your property insurance provider. They can help you understand your policy’s terms, coverage limits, and any additional endorsements or riders you might need to address specific risks associated with your property.
In addition to insurance, it’s essential to take proactive measures to reduce risks on your property. Regular maintenance, proper signage, and secure fencing can help deter trespassers and minimize potential hazards.
Property insurance and liability coverage can vary depending on your policy and provider. Therefore, reviewing your insurance documents carefully and seeking professional advice if you have any questions or concerns is crucial. By being well-prepared and informed, you can better safeguard your property and the well-being of those who enter it.
Seeking Legal Counsel
Dealing with trespasser injuries can be tricky. If you’re ever in this situation, it’s best to talk to a Fort Worth, Texas, premises liability lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a property owner.
Understanding what to do if someone gets hurt on your property is important. Keeping your property safe is your job, but some rules can complicate it. Knowing these rules and exceptions lets you be prepared and keep everyone safe on your property. Talking to a lawyer and setting up a free consultation can be a good idea if things get confusing. Your property, the law, and safety go hand in hand, so stay informed and responsible.
CONTACT OUR PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM IN FORT WORTH, TX – STEPHENS LAW FIRM, PLLC
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420 7000