Injuries to People off Your Property

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Most Common Personal Injury Law Issues:

Can I Be Held Liable If Someone Is Injured off My Property?

Many people are surprised when they hear that landowners can be held responsible for injuries that people suffer while off of the property. However, a common example of this is when a tree branch falls onto someone’s car. Other examples including rabbits from neighboring properties causing damages, or when there is tall grass along a curving road that blocks a driver's view causing damage.

When Can a Landowner Be Held Responsible?

Traditionally, landowner liability only extended to the owned land and a landowner was not responsible for any damage caused by natural sources to a third party off of the land. However, the landowner must make sure that any manmade conditions upon the land don’t "reach out" and affect people off of the land.

For example, land that has been dug, shifted, and cultivated can form mud puddles. Mud and water can then drain onto the highway, causing slippery conditions and spin-outs. Rocks that have been used to create a rock garden can topple down and roll onto the sidewalk, which can drop on or be inadvertently stepped upon by a passerby, causing the passerby to slip and fall.

Due to a series of tree-falling events, several states have now changed the law to make landowners liable for injuries that occur off their property if those injuries were caused by the natural conditions of the landowner's land. This means that landowners must keep their trees pruned, and must hire experts to make sure that the trees are structurally sound.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If someone has been injured by a natural feature of your property, you should consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. Personal injury lawsuits can be extremely expensive and an experienced attorney will be able to help you with a defense or help you negotiate a favorable settlement.

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Last Modified: 05-11-2015 04:30 PM PDT

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