Homeowners are sometimes liable for injuries suffered on their property. The level of responsibility varies depending on the type of person injured.
Trespassers, including burglars, are people who do not have permission or a lawful right to be on a homeowner’s property. Homeowners, generally, have no duty to protect trespassers from dangers. So, a burglar cannot sue for tripping on a toy car or being hit by a falling television.
There are several exceptions to this rule:
Homeowners can’t possibly anticipate a random burglar coming into their home. However, if there are signs of a frequent trespasser, the homeowner does have a duty to warn about known dangers on the property.
Homeowners can be sued for willful and wanton conduct that injures a trespasser. This means don’t set up any booby traps meant to injure a burglar or trespasser.
While you may be able to use deadly force to defend your life in some states, you can never use deadly force to protect personal property.