Children are inherently curious and always on the lookout for new ways to have fun and play. As a result, they tend to get into some dangerous situations due to their adventurous spirit, sometimes exploring other people’s property. Unfortunately, plenty of everyday objects can pose a real threat to the safety and well-being of a child. It is the responsibility of a property owner to take any necessary steps to protect children who venture onto their property against objects or conditions that could potentially cause them harm. This is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine.
Generally, an attractive nuisance involves three components:
- The law does not expect children to fully understand the potential dangers they might face
- When a property owner knows children might try to enter their property, the law places a special responsibility on them to take proper preventative measures
- If an owner does not meet this responsibility and a child suffers any injuries as a result, they will likely be held liable for it
HOW WOULD I KNOW WHAT AN ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE IS?
Typically, an attractive nuisance is something that would be considered irresistibly enticing that a child would enter someone else’s property to play with it or explore it. Additionally, an attractive nuisance is usually something that is man-made and requires maintenance. This means that a lake or a pond would not be considered an attractive nuisance. The law also expects children to understand some dangers, such as great heights and fire.
Examples of common attractive nuisances include:
- Fountains and swimming pools
- Tunnels and wells
- Dangerous animals
- Machinery, such as lawnmowers
Even something as seemingly benign as a rooftop can potentially be seen as an attractive nuisance if it is easily accessible and no steps have been taken to keep children away.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM PREMISES LIABILITY
One of the best things you can do to prevent these accidents from happening is to follow any local regulations that exist to protect children against potential attractive nuisances. However, common sense and good judgment will go a long way in making your property safer to any young visitors who might wander onto the premises. If you have a swimming pool, make sure it is inaccessible by installing a high fence or gate, for example. Your insurance agent might also be able to assist you with a list of potential items on your property that might be considered an attractive nuisance.
PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEYS IN TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, our team of personal injury attorneys in Texas and Oklahoma will guide you through every step of your premises liability claim to ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and creativity to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.
Get started on your case today and contact us at 918-492-7674 to schedule your free initial case evaluation. You will not owe us any legal fees if we cannot recover compensation on your behalf.