When someone tries to file a claim against another person’s home insurance, the insurance company may deny the claim if the policyholder says the injured person had been trespassing. Sometimes the insurer is legally responsible for compensation anyway under the aspect of premises liability. A personal injury lawyer in Bremerton represents clients dealing with these types of situations.
There are important exceptions to this aspect of liability that a personal injury lawyer in Bremerton can explain.
First, if the injury was somehow self-inflicted, the insurer is usually not responsible. This can become complicated, however. Consider a situation in which someone sneaks into a swimming pool on residential property and is seriously injured there. In one sense, the law expects property owners to keep the premises safe, which would include making sure nobody has access to the pool without permission. In another sense, however, if a person climbs over a locked chain-link fence to get into the water, it may be difficult to claim premises liability.
Second, if the property is being rented to a tenant, the landlord’s insurance may not be liable. The landlord is not expected to always know the precise condition of the property unless the tenant reports a problem. If a railing becomes loose, for instance, the landlord cannot be expected to know this immediately without being informed.
Being Aware of Trespassers
Another complication involves whether a property owner could realistically expect a trespasser to come across a potentially hazardous feature on the property. This property owner can warn guests of a place in the yard where an old tree stump has sunk into the earth, creating a tripping hazard. The person cannot be expected to warn trespassers.
If this property owner is aware that people sometimes walk through the yard as a shortcut, premises liability may be upheld. Even though those individuals are trespassing, the owner of the land knows they could get hurt. A court would likely conclude that the tripping hazard in the yard should have been repaired. Information is available from an attorney with an organization such as The Law Offices of Anthony C. Otto. Click here to get started on arranging a free initial consultation.