Premises Liability Lawyers in McKinney, Texas
Premises liability coverage is the type of insurance that protects a property owner in the event that a lawsuit arises from an injury sustained on their property. In premises liability law, the duty of a homeowner to a trespasser is simply to refrain from intentionally, willfully or wantonly injuring them. If there is a condition on the homeowner’s land that is dangerous but attractive to small children, the homeowner has a duty to take reasonable care in eliminating the danger to protect the child. If the homeowner fails to take reasonable steps to protect children against the danger, they may be facing injury liability from the victim.
The Status of the Plaintiff
A trespasser is defined as a person that is on someone else’s property without permission. Property owners are not required by law to protect people who trespass illegally. If a property owner or occupier of the premises knew or should have known that there are frequent trespassers on his or her property, they can be held legally liable if:
- The unsafe condition was created by the property owner
- The condition was more than likely to cause serious injuries or death
- The owner did not exercise reasonable care in warning trespassers of the hazardous condition
- The owner believed that trespassers would not discover the unsafe condition
When property owners are not aware of trespassers on their land, they have no legal duty in warning them about an unsafe or hazardous condition. It is not the owner’s responsibility to make the premises safe for trespassers. In a premises liability case, the judge or jury may be more lenient towards the owner of the property if the person injured was trespassing. When children are the injured victims, the law often sides with the child if they were tempted to trespass due to an attractive nuisance.
Attractive Nuisance Law
An attractive nuisance is defined as an item or condition that children would find appealing, but at the same time pose a danger to the child. Attractive nuisance is used as a defense when children trespass onto the premises of another. Swimming pools are very attractive to children and the owner must take steps to prevent accidents from happening. This might include installing a pool cover or building a fence around the pool. Some of the most common attractive nuisances include the following:
- Creeks, lakes, ponds and fountains
- Swimming pools
- Farm equipment
- Abandoned automobiles
- Construction sites
- Discarded appliances
The law states that washing machines, dryers and refrigerators must have the doors removed if left outside. While the attractive nuisance laws are designed to protect children from harm, generally do not apply to adult situations.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
If you are a property owner that is being sued by someone who was trespassing on your property, you may wish to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to defend you against premises liability by showing that you exercised reasonable care and that the negligent conduct of the injured party is responsible.