Can you be held liable if someone gets hurt on your property?

UPDATED: Nov 13, 2011

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Can you be held liable if someone gets hurt on your property?

My son broke his arm while riding an ATV on someone else’s property. It was caused by his own bad judgement. Can the owner be held liable?

Asked on November 13, 2011 under Personal Injury, Tennessee


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In this situation, the only time an owner of a property would be liable to your son even partially is if your negligent statutes or case law allow for co-liability if the owner created some sort of a hazard (like placing something in the pathway that would cause tires to blow or ATVs to flip). The absolute defense to such action anyway would be assumption of the risk. If your son was a trespasser, it would make no difference as he broke the law. If your son was invited on the property and the owner did not create hazards on the property or warned the driver of particular hazards, the owner would still not be held liable. The affirmative defense here would be that your son assumed the risk by riding a hazardous vehicle and being involved in a hazardous activity.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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