A modern, two-story house with a gray and beige exterior, complete with a dark roof and white trim. The home has two garage doors, a front lawn with a small tree, and neatly manicured landscaping. The sky is vivid with a pink and orange sunset.

If someone who was trespassing on your property becomes injured in the process, who is held responsible? Read on to learn more about trespassing injuries in New York and who will be held liable.

The General Rule

For the most part, a property owner will not be held responsible for any injuries a trespasser incurs. While this is the general rule of thumb, it is not always the case, and there are some exceptions.

The Exceptions

The following examples are exceptions to the general rule. A property owner may be held responsible if the injury is incurred due to:

  • Dangerous dogs
  • Willful and wanton conduct
  • Discovered trespassers

Dangerous Dogs

Some dogs are dangerous to people and other pets. If you have a dog that could cause harm to someone who enters your property, you will want to put up signs warning trespassers to stay away. Failing to warn trespassers of a dangerous dog can be considered negligent.

Willful and Wanton Conduct:

If you engage in dangerous activities on your property, you will need to warn trespassers. For example, if you practice shooting in your backyard and you injure a trespasser or passerby, you may be held responsible. It is also important to know the guidelines of deadly force in your state. For example, you cannot harm someone for simply walking through your yard, but, if someone were to break into your home you would be able to defend yourself.

Discovered Trespassers:

Usually, a property owner does not assume that trespassers will walk on his or her property. But, if the property owner is aware that trespassers frequent his property, he will have to warn them of any hazards on the property. This may occur if your yard is a popular shortcut that the locals in town use. At this point, you cannot claim that you were unaware of trespassers. Instead, you will have to take precautions to make sure these trespassers do not become injured. You may do this by placing signs on your property with warnings.

If someone uninvited has been injured while on your property, you should contact a premises liability attorney as soon as possible. We are here to advocate for you and walk you through all personal injury matters.


Hausman & Pendzick effectively represent victims of negligence in Westchester County and across the state of New York. We understand how challenging life can be without financial compensation for serious injuries you have wrongly sustained. If you need a knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation after an accident, contact Hausman & Pendzick today.