Can a Trespasser Have a Valid Premises Liability Claim in PA?

Oftentimes, people will assume that trespassers do not qualify for premises liability claims if they’ve been injured due to a negligent property owner. While this is an understandable assumption, in certain cases, it is untrue. Please continue reading and speak with our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys to learn more about whether you may have a premises liability claim if you were injured while trespassing. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Under what circumstances may a trespasser have a premises liability claim?

Perhaps surprisingly, there are a few scenarios in which a trespasser may have a valid premises liability claim. Some of those scenarios are as follows:

  • Willful and wanton conduct: If you can prove that you were injured while trespassing because the property owner knew that you were on the property and decided to participate in unlawful conduct, you may have a valid claim. For example, if the property owner used a weapon to harm you, such as a firearm, despite you showing no visible threat, you may have a claim against that property owner.
  • Discovered trespassers: When a property owner is aware of a trespasser on his or her property, and he or she is also aware of certain safety hazards that exist on his or her property, it is the property owner’s duty to warn the trespasser of those safety hazards. If a property owner does not post warning signs or otherwise inform the trespasser of the safety hazards in question, the property owner may have a valid claim if he or she sustains an injury.
  • Dangerous dogs: All those with dangerous or vicious dogs are required, by law, to have warning signs up that state something to the effect of, “BEWARE OF DOG.” If a trespasser is injured by a vicious dog and the property owner did not have such signs posted, under certain circumstances, the trespasser may have a valid premises liability claim.

How long will I have to file a premises liability claim in Pennsylvania?

Those who’ve been wrongfully injured in accidents must not wait any longer than two years from the date of their accident to pursue compensation from the negligent party, in accordance with the state’s statute of limitations. If you wait any longer than you years, you will most likely give up your right to sue the liable party. We can help you today–all you need to do is give us a call.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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