Liability

The neighbors children climb a tree in their yard and drop down onto my storage shed and slide off the roof. If they injure themselves while doing this can I be sued by their parents?

Asked on April 26, 2017 under Personal Injury, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are only liable if you allowed there to be (or actually caused there to be) some dangerous condition, and that condition caused injuries. So, for example: say you keep a pile of various building materials or tools in an untidy--and jagged or hard--jumble next to the shed; since keeping scatttered tools or bricks or pavers, etc. creates a hazard for anyone (trespasser or not) on your property, if the kids are injured on that pile, that could cause you liability. You could also be liable if one of the branches is dead and they fall due to that--since a dead branch is again a hazard (it could fall on and brain a lawful visitor, for example), allowing a hazard to exist can be negligent, or unreasonably careless, and lead to liability.
But to the extent you do not cause or allow a hazardous condition, you should not be liable--a homeowner does not "insure" people on his/her land, and is only liable when he/she is at fault in some way. 
You may wish to contact the police (or sheriff) if the parents will not keep their kids off your property--let the authorities drive home to them to not do this.


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