This is a somewhat complex issue. The presence of "No Trespassing" signs would make anyone who enters the property without a specific invitation a trespasser. So would the presence of a fence, even if there was a closed but unlocked gate. An "Enter at your own risk" sign probably would not make such people legally trespassers.
In West Virginia, a landowner or lessee or other lawful occupant owes a duty of "reasonable care" to invitees and other non-trespassers. No such duty is owed to trespassers. However, the owner or lawful occupant is expected to avoid dangerous conditions and reckless hazards, as well as intentional causes of harm (such as booby-traps). If through recklessness or serious negligance a dangerous condition exists and a person, even a trespasser, is injured or killed because of such a condition, the owner or lawful occupant is likely to be liable. However, if the danger is "open and obvious" or is as well known to the injured person as to the owner or occupant, there is no liability. A warning sign might make a danger "open and obvious".
I do not see that video cameras will be relevant to the matter at all. Cameras do not warn a pedestrian not to enter, nor do they warn of any danger, nor do they prevent a pedestrian from being injured. They may help in detecting or even preventing crime, but will not affect liability for injury to a pedestrian.
West Virginia Code Code Sections
§61-3B-3. (Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.) of the West Virginia Code provides that:
(a) It is an unlawful trespass for any person to knowingly, and without being authorized, licensed or invited, to enter or remain on any property, other than a structure or conveyance, as to which notice against entering or remaining is either given by actual communication to such person or by posting, fencing or cultivation.
§55-7-27. (Liability of possessor of real property for harm to a trespasser.)
(a) A possessor of real property, including an owner, lessee or other lawful occupant, owes no duty of care to a trespasser except in those circumstances where a common-law right-of-action existed as of the effective date of this section, including the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly causing the trespasser injury.
(b) A possessor of real property may use justifiable force to repel a criminal trespasser as provided by section twenty-two of this article.
(c) This section does not increase the liability of any possessor of real property and does not affect any immunities from or defenses to liability established by another section of this code or available at common law to which a possessor of real property may be entitled.
(d) The Legislature intends to codify and preserve the common law in West Virginia on the duties owed to trespassers by possessors of real property as of the effective date of this section.
Articles from Law Firms
The article "West Virginia Legislature reinstitutes “open and obvious” doctrine" from the law firm Farmer, Cline, & Campbell discusses how the case of Hersch v. E-T Enterprises, Ltd. P’ship. in which a WVa court abolished the "open and obvious" except to liability, imposing dameages for an "open and obvious" hazard, specifically an open stair without guardrails. The legislature then amended §55-7-27. (a) to restore the exception.
The article also reads:
West Virginia state law requires property owners remove hazards from their property to reduce the risk of these injuries. The expectation is dependent on the type of person that is on the property. Previously, visitors were broken into one of four categories: invitee, licensee, social guest or trespasser. The duty of care owed to the visitor depended on the category under which the visitor qualified. Today, there are only two categories: trespasser and non-trespasser. The West Virginia Supreme Court, in Mallet v. Pickens, abolished the four categories mentioned above, and held that “landowners or possessors now owe any non-trespassing entrant a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances.”
The article "Property owners may be liable for injuries to trespassers" from the law firm Farmer, Cline, & Campbell reads:
West Virginia homeowners are not obligated to protect those who trespass upon their property. However, they should be aware that they cannot willfully cause injury to any who do trespass. This law can become an issue for homeowners with frequent trespassers as they may find themselves liable for injuries any people, even the uninvited ones, sustain if their properties are left in an unsafe condition.
For example, homeowners and landowners could potentially face lawsuits if they purposefully made their properties unsafe. They may also be held liable if the condition of their properties could cause serious bodily harm or death. Further, landowners can also potentially face legal consequences if they fail to warn potential trespassers that there are hazards on their properties.
The article "Determining Duty in West Virginia Premises Liability Cases" from Colombo Law reads:
Most states use three categories to determine whether a duty is owed to individuals who enter the property of another. These three categories are business invitee, licensee, and trespasser. In the past, West Virginia was one of the many states that followed this standard. However, in 1999 West Virginia abolished and replaced the three specific classifications with a new, more general standard of determining whether the individual is a trespasser or a nnon-trespasser
- Trespasser. A trespasser is an individual who enters the property of another without the permission of a landowner. An individual will be deemed a trespasser if they do not have either express or implied permission from the owner. In West Virginia, the courts offer little protection to those who are trespassers. As a trespasser, a landowner must only refrain from intentional or reckless conduct.
- Non-Trespassers. Contrary to trespassers, landowners owe a duty to anyone that is permitted to be on the property. If an individual enters private property with the express or implied permission of a landowner, the landowner must ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for those on the premises. To ensure you are meeting the standard of care, the landowner must inspect the premises to determine whether there are any dangerous conditions present on the property and repair and/or warn individuals of the danger.
Premises liability is the legal premise for which landowners are responsible for harm caused by unsafe conditions existing on the landowner’s premises. Premises liability is a broad concept that may be raised for a variety of harms present. One main reason for personal injury actions stemming from premises liability include slip and fall accidents as a result of:
- Slippery floors
- Uneven sidewalks or pavement
- Objects protruding from carpeting , floorboards, or store shelves