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Premises liability limitation against trespassers in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma law, any property owner must ensure that the property is not only safe for that owner, but that it is also safe for any visitor of the property. In cases in which the visitor is injured or has an accident on the person’s property due to unsafe conditions, the victim may be able to initiate a lawsuit against the owner.

Interestingly, premises liability not only extends to legitimate visitors and people who were invited to visit the property, but it also includes trespassers who have violated the law by merely being on the owner’s property. It must be noted, however, that the degree of liability on the part of the owner decreases between the visitors and the people who were invited to visit the property as opposed to trespassers. In a typical case, the age of the trespasser will also play a factor, with minor trespassers having more rights under premises liability laws than adult trespassers. So, what rights do trespassers have to a person’s property?

A premises liability on behalf of a minor could arise under the following circumstances:

  • The premises owners were aware or had a specific expectation that children were going to trespass on the property in question.
  • The property itself was, in one way or another, attractive to the public and especially to children who came onto the property because of the attraction.
  • The property itself had inherent dangers where the child was injured not only because of the trespass, but also because of the inherent dangers.
  • The injury that the minor trespasser suffered on the property was caused directly by the owner’s not being vigilant about the various safety precautions that the owner needed to follow.
  • The minor trespasser on the property did not possess the mental capacity to understand the dangers of the property or the danger of trespassing.

Source: OSCN.net, “Oklahoma statutes citationized: Trespassers liability limitation,” Accessed on July 31, 2015

 

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