Children are curious by nature, but they lack the reasoning capabilities
that would otherwise protect them from entering into a potentially dangerous
situation. For this reason, when children enter onto another person’s
property, it is the responsibility of that person to provide a safe environment.
But, what happens when the property owner fails to eliminate potential
dangers and your child is injured?
Whether your child was invited onto the property or not, it should be properly
maintained and reasonable safe in any circumstance. When a child is invited
onto a property, such as a school, friend’s house, or daycare, the
normal premises liability rules apply. However, when a child is not invited
onto the property, the
attractive nuisance doctrine will provide legal protection.
Attractive nuisance provides trespassing children with the rights of a
visitor in many ways, essentially because it holds property owners responsible
for providing a safe environment wherever children may potentially wander.
Children, especially toddlers and young kids, are deemed too immature
to comprehend the potential dangers of trespassing, and therefore cannot
be held responsible for the resulting damage. Property owners, on the
other hand, are expected to show care to prevent possible harm if children
could reasonably be expected to trespass onto their property.
If children could potentially trespass onto the property, the owner was
aware of the danger and the owner did not fix or eliminate the danger,
he or she could be held liable for any resulting injuries. This may include
construction sites, abandoned buildings, abandoned cars, swimming pools,
machinery, wells and holes, or properties containing dangerous animals.
While “children” is a loose term, it can apply to kids at a
variety of ages, from toddlers to teenagers. The application of attractive
nuisance depends on the circumstances of each case, and what care the
property owner or manager took to eliminate the potential danger that
caused the personal injury. For example, if the owner put up a sign warning
about a dangerous dog, a teenager would be able to determine the danger,
whereas a toddler would not.
In short, whether your child was invited into the property or he or she
trespassed, you may still be able to seek compensation for any resulting
injuries. Any property owner has a duty to provide reasonable care and
maintain proper care of his or her property, especially if children are
likely to wander in. If you believe you have a premises liability case,
our attorneys can help. Proving liability can sometimes be difficult,
especially where attractive nuisance comes into play.
To improve your chances of maximum compensation, contact Gruenberg Kelly Della
and schedule a
free initial consultation.