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Your recourse if your child gets injured on someone else’s property

Most parents understand that children can be attracted to hazards. Children may unknowingly put themselves in danger, which is why attractive nuisance laws exist. These laws aim to protect children from the dangers of curiosity, but many parents do not understand how these laws work.

What is an attractive nuisance?

An attractive nuisance is an aspect of premises liability. Under the law, an attractive nuisance is a condition, object or structure that is hazardous and irresistible to kids. A swimming pool is a commonly recognized attractive nuisance.

For example, if a child enters someone else’s property – even without their permission – and falls into their swimming pool, then the property owner would be liable for any resulting injuries to the child, if the property owner had not taken proper precautions to prevent such an accident. Such precautions may include such steps as covering the pool when it is not in use or erecting a fence around the pool.

Attractive nuisance law allows the court to hold landowners accountable if children are hurt by “artificial conditions” on their property and if the situation meets these criteria:

  • The landowners are aware, or should be aware, that kids are likely to enter their property without permission.
  • The artificial conditions have the capacity to cause serious injury or death to children.
  • The children involved are too inexperienced or young to comprehend the risks that the conditions present.
  • The landowners failed to take reasonable steps to remove the dangers.
  • The cost to remedy or the benefit of maintaining the conditions is minimal compared to the presented risks.

If your child becomes injured from an attractive nuisance on property that does not belong to you, you could file a claim against the landowner to recover damages. However, the courts apply the law according to the circumstances of each case. So, while one court may consider a jungle gym to be an attractive nuisance, another court may not. Due to this complexity, the you may want to obtain the assistance of a personal injury lawyer in determining how best to proceed.