What Happens if Trespassers Get Hurt on My Land?
Trespassers that are injured on our land, or if they damage any structures or brush on our land, have as much of a right to sue for those injuries as someone with permission. Not only can this be in the form of a personal injury lawsuit, but they can also file a premises liability claim.
Often, Medical bills are sued for. Depending on the extent of the injury this can be a hefty sum. Unfortunately, even if a person didn’t have clear permission to be on the property, it’s our responsibility as landowners to mark our property and make clear who is allowed within those boundaries and who isn’t.
How Do I Protect My Land From Trespassers?
Trespassers can be tricky to deter. Some are accidental trespassers, but there are those that understand they are trespassing and still don’t care. To ensure that you protect yourself, your land and your liability of trespassers in and out of the courtroom it’s best to make sure your property line is clear. Signage should be posted visibly from many angles and entry points.
A very beneficial way to help further decrease trespassing is leasing out your land to trusted hunters or outdoorsmen. They can be a second set of eyes keeping a watch on things. Good hunters will be able to figure out if there are trespassers around pretty quickly, and will often run them off for you. Plus, you can make a good income from leasing hunting rights!
Marking Property Lines
The first step to keeping trespassers off your property is to make sure the line is clearly marked. Fencing is often the best initial option but these boundaries can be vague in a legal sense. Pairing good fencing with signage, however, can clearly tell anyone that doesn’t have explicit permission that they are not allowed to be there.
Fencing is a great way to mark property lines, deter trespassers, and keep out certain wildlife if desired. Cattle panels, barbed wire, high-tensile wire, traditional wood fencing, chain link, and even electric fencing for pasture can all be used; this depends more on the terrain and budget.
Signage, Tape, & Paint
Proper signage is a good way to clarify what activities or presence is allowed within a boundary. For outdoor signs, it’s imperative that these are fade resistant, durable, and easily visible. AHLA’s No Trespassing signs are a perfect solution for a bright, hi-vis, and clear option for a property line. Make sure to space these according to your state regulations, conspicuously along the boundaries of your property.
Often, people will choose bright-colored property tape or paint markings. In some rural areas, it can be difficult to keep signage intact, and often landowners will pair signage with hunting leases and a purple boundary paint at 100-yard intervals. While this alone doesn’t deter everyone, in certain states it can be used if pressing trespassing charges against an individual.
Purple paint indicates that unless there is express written permission from the landowner, all hunting, fishing, or trapping is prohibited. Paired with no trespassing signs, this covers hikers, bird watchers, or campers as well.