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People trespass often, both intentionally and unintentionally. If you are on a property you are not supposed to be on, you can easily become injured. Read on to learn more about who is legally responsible when it comes to injuries incurred while trespassing.

What if I Become Injured While Trespassing?

If you slip and fall on the sidewalk in front of someone’s house, the homeowner may be held responsible for your injury. But, if you are injured walking on someone’s private property without their knowledge or permission, the homeowner is probably not responsible. Generally, property owners are not responsible for a trespasser’s injuries. But, this is not always the case.

What are the Exceptions?

A homeowner may be held responsible for a trespasser’s injuries in the event of:

  • Discovered trespassers: A homeowner does not assume that someone will trespass and therefore does not need to take preventative measures. But, if you become aware that people regularly trespass on your property, you have knowledge that there are people walking on your property and that they can become injured. If you are aware of this and you do not put up any signs warning trespassers of hazards on your property, you can be considered negligent.
  • Willful and wanton conduct: If you willfully partake in dangerous activities that could injure a trespasser or passerby, you can be held responsible for resulting injuries. It is important that you do not partake in negligent activities as you may be considered responsible for any injuries. Additionally, it is important to understand the use of deadly force in your state. Generally, you cannot use deadly force to protect your property. For example, you can defend yourself against a burglar breaking into your home, but not against someone simply walking through your backyard.
  • Dangerous dogs: Some dogs can be extremely dangerous to people and other pets. If you have a dog that is considered dangerous and you fail to warn trespassers, you may be held responsible for a dog attack.

If you have become injured while trespassing, it can feel hopeless. You may be struggling physically, mentally, and financially as a result of your injury. While you may feel like you cannot take legal action, there are some cases in which you will be able to recover compensation for these burdens. Contact our firm to discuss your case today.

Contact our Firm

If you have been injured in a New York City accident, Swerling Law is here to help. Our firm understands the challenges that many people face after being hurt in an accident and is prepared to help you receive an award of significant compensation to ease some of your burdens. To schedule a consultation with an experienced construction site accident attorney in New York City, contact Swerling Law today.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.


Settlement to a man who was run over by a dump truck on a Brooklyn street causing him to sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to a broken leg and detached urethra in 2019.


Settlement to a woman who slipped and fell down a wet stairwell in a New York City Housing Authority building requiring a back surgery in 2018.

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