Children are curious and are drawn to toys, interesting and unusual conditions, pools and places that they view as play areas. It is the duty of property owners to ensure that any dangerous conditions that may be attractive to children who could get hurt there implement safety protections in order to prevent serious injury or death.
The attractive nuisance doctrine requires this and provides for recovery when wrongdoers fail to protect their neighbors and passersby.
What is an attractive nuisance?
According to Nationwide, an attractive nuisance is a potentially dangerous feature on a person’s property that may prove too enticing for children to resist. To count as an attractive nuisance, the property owner should have known that the feature was dangerous and could attract children. Additionally, property owners can be held liable for injuries if they did not take reasonable measures to protect children and discourage access. As you may imagine, swimming pools are among the most common attractive nuisances in many neighborhoods.
Others may include the following:
- Toys and dangerous playground equipment such as trampolines, climbing structures and zip lines
- Power tools, riding lawnmowers and recreational vehicles
- Home construction projects
- Old appliances and disabled vehicles
- Guard dogs
Preventive measures should be effective but need not be overly complicated or expensive. For example, your neighbor may restrict access by putting a high fence around a backyard pool and locking power tools, ATVs and hunting equipment in a shed. While this information is meant to educate you, the laws surrounding premises liability can be complex. Contact a lawyer if you have questions or if you or your family member were injured by an attractive nuisance.