By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer
If you’re like most people, you believe that what you do and have on your own private property is nobody’s business and trespassers enter at their own risk. And if you’re like a lot of people, you believe that parents should properly supervise their children and shouldn’t allow them to trespass. In many respects, you would be right on both counts, but when it comes to liability and the law you can be held financially responsible if a trespassing child gets hurt on your property if their injury is due to an item or feature that is considered an “attractive nuisance”.
Generally, when it comes to adults, you aren’t responsible for providing a safe environment for trespassers. You aren’t allowed to create conditions meant to hurt them intentionally, but you don’t have a duty to protect them either. Children get extra protections.
Parents absolutely should supervise their children, but sometimes, things happen. And parents who negligently let their kids wander may face penalties of their own. None of that protects you from liability if the child gets hurt on your property due to a hazard you knew existed and failed to correct.
What is an Attractive Nuisance?
Premises liability laws vary from state to state, but generally, an attractive nuisance is something that could seriously injure or kill a child, that the child is likely to be drawn to or wander into and it is something with respect to which the child cannot discern the danger. So, yes, swimming pools, trampolines and things like old refrigerators are considered attractive nuisances. What you are required to do to protect child trespassers from these nuisances also varies. For instance, some states have very specific specifications for proper fencing around swimming pools.
If your child has been injured on someone else’s property due to an attractive nuisance, please contact an experienced child injury attorney today.