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Are visitors liable for accidents resulting from horseplay?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Personal Injury

Accidents can happen when people are having fun, especially if they are goofing around on someone else’s property. But who is responsible if someone gets hurt during all the rough play?

Both visitors and homeowners need to understand their level of accountability for injuries that occur during horseplay.

What is horseplay?

Horseplay refers to rough or rowdy play, often involving physical activity and sometimes resulting in accidents or injuries. It is common among children and teenagers but can happen among adults, too.


When someone owns a property, they have a duty to keep it reasonably safe for visitors. This means fixing hazards and warning people about dangers. However, if someone gets hurt while engaging in horseplay, the liability may not solely fall on the homeowner.

Visitors to someone else’s property are responsible for being careful and avoiding harm. Even if they are just playing around, they need to be aware of their surroundings and not engage in reckless behavior.

Contributory negligence

Contributory negligence means both parties share fault for an accident. If someone’s actions significantly contributed to their injury, the homeowner’s liability could be reduced or even eliminated. Of course, if the homeowner’s negligence was the primary cause of the accident, they may still bear the majority of the responsibility.

Insurance coverage

Homeowners usually have insurance that covers accidents on their property, including those caused by visitors’ horseplay. However, the specifics can vary depending on the policy and how the accident occurred. Some insurance companies may aggressively dispute claims that result from clear recklessness on the part of the visitor.

Staying safe

To avoid accidents and any potential blame, individuals should be careful when they are playing rough. Warnings regarding hazards should be heeded, and visitors should follow any rules the homeowner has set.

While homeowners must keep their property free from hazards, visitors must also do their part to stay safe while at someone else’s home.