Understanding the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
Attractive nuisances are all around and children typically fall victim to these hazardous conditions.
It is important for homeowners and parents to understand what these nuisances are and how we can protect our children from injury.
Understanding The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
An “attractive nuisance” is something on your property that draws children in but threatens them with harm. A doctrine in tort law under which a landowner may be liable for injuries to children who trespass on land if the injury results from a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition.
The law puts a responsibility on a property owner to take precautions to protect children who may come on to their property.
For example, a swimming pool or pond on your property could be considered a liability. If a homeowner has these nuisances on their property, they must take proper precautions such as a fence around the pool. If a child were to climb that fence and get into the pool, the property owner would likely not be held liable for the injuries they may have sustained.
Typically, the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine has three components:
- The law expects children to not fully comprehend the dangers they may face on someone’s property.
- If you think children might come onto your property, the law places a special responsibility on you to prevent harm.
- If you fail to meet this responsibility, you will most likely be held liable for the child’s injuries.
Common Types of Attractive Nuisances:
- Swimming pools
- Tree Houses
- Construction Projects
Because most attractive nuisances are part of a person’s home, they cannot be taken away.
There are, however, ways a homeowner can prevent an accident from occurring.
For example, pool owners should have a fence or a ladder that locks on the pool when not in use.
Keep all machinery such as lawnmowers in a shed or garage when they are not being used.
Consider a net with a zipper and lock for your trampoline to avoid having children enter when adults are not present.
Construction projects on homes can be very enticing for children. They can see construction vehicles, dirt, shovels and rocks and immediately want to explore that area.
You can reduce the urge for children to want to enter your property by renting a dumpster to hold your debris and making sure all tools are put away after each use. Putting hazard signs near the construction area can help make sure the area is clearly marked as being dangerous.
A few thoughtful gestures when taking care of your home can make all the difference in someone’s safety.
It is important to consider the possibility of children being on your property whether they have been invited or not.
Being aware of the potential dangers on your property and making a good effort to protect any child that enters it can potentially save a child from injury.
Recovering Compensation After and Accident
If your child was injured due to an attractive nuisance, you have the right to hold property owners liable. The attorneys at Berger and Green have helped numerous individuals who have been injured due to negligent property owners. A person does have a general responsibility to be aware of his or her surroundings, but if you are injured on someone else’s property because of a hazard that the owner should have been aware of or was aware of and ignored, you may have the right to compensation for your injuries. Do not immediately assume the blame.
Contact the lawyers at Berger and Green for a free no obligation consultation regarding your claim.
Attractive nuisance claims require great attention to detail, research, and investigation. Our attorneys have the experience and drive to pursue these types of claims, helping clients get compensation for the injuries they have sustained. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Berger and Green 412-661-1400 for a free no obligation consultation.