411: Robbers Can Sue for “On-The-Job” Injuries!
If you host a party at your house and one of your invited guests trips on an ill-placed brick on the walkway to your front door, they can sue you in the hopes of obtaining compensation for the injuries they sustain. Indeed, as the owner of your home, you are liable for the injuries of those who are on your property, especially if they are there legally (as are invited guests).
But what if, during that same party, a robber broke into your home and tried to steal a jewelry box? If the robber injured himself or herself on your property, would they be able to sue you in order to collect compensation for the injuries they sustained while on your property? According to Florida law, they might be able to, depending on how and why the injuries occurred.
There is a different standard used in determining liability for injuries sustained by “invitees” (people invited to your house, for example) and by “trespassers” (the uninvited robber, for example). An invitee or someone else who was lawfully on your property (without an explicit invitation but with an understood or implied invitation) can sue you for if they injure themselves in a variety of ways, including slipping on a wet floor, tripping over an above-ground tree root, etc. On the other hand, people who are not on your property lawfully, such as robbers, can only sue you successfully if it is proven that you have acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct in maintaining your property and such negligence or misconduct is determined to be the proximate cause of their injury.
Below, we have outlined just a few examples of instances in which a robber might injure himself or herself on your property in a way that would allow them to sue you:
- A robber walks on your property and steps on a wire, which trigger a “booby trap” that you’ve created, resulting in an injury to the robber.
- A robber is attacked and injured by vicious guard dogs and you do not have cautionary signs, warning individuals about the guard dogs, adequately posted.
- A robber enters your home and the not-up-to-code ceiling collapses on him, injuring him.
So, while it is entirely acceptable (and encouraged) to go to great lengths to protect your home and your family from unwelcome intruders, be mindful that going “over-the-top” with dangerous protective measures can end up doing more harm than good. Furthermore, make sure your house is up to code with regard to its structural integrity; it’d be terrible to have an invited guest injure themselves on your property – and it’d also be a shame to have to compensate someone who tried to steal from you but injured themselves on your property due to an unstable ceiling or shaky stairwell, etc.
If you have any questions about the information contained within this blog, or about any other personal injury issue, please feel free to contact our lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green. To schedule a free consultation, please call us at 561-266-9191 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.