The first duty of every parent is to protect their children. If you have children, you do whatever it takes to keep them safe. You may have taken measures to ensure that they are unable to access hazardous parts of your home and wider property. However, if your property includes a pool or you keep a dog in your backyard, then you must act to ensure that other children are not harmed.
Premises Liability Lawyer Newport Beach for Attractive Nuisance
Attractive nuisance is a legal term that refers to objects and animals on a property that draws children and threatens them with harm. You can be held liable for harboring an attractive nuisance on your property. It can fall within the bounds of premises liability, and you can be sued if someone’s child is harmed after wandering onto your land. The law places responsibility on property owners to take whatever steps necessary to protect children who may walk onto your property. Attractive nuisance law has three underlying assumptions:
- That you should know whether children may wander onto your property
- That children cannot fully comprehend the dangers they face
- That you can be held accountable if you failed to take reasonable measures that would prevent them from being injured
Technically, a child who comes onto your property uninvited is trespassing. However, the law will punish you if they get hurt. This owes to the fact that the law gives minors special protection. If you see that a child has wandered onto your property, you should take steps to ensure their safety. This can include:
- Warning them of dangerous conditions
- Asking them to leave the property immediately, and taking them off by the hand if necessary
- peaking to their parents about their wandering habits
What You Are Not Liable For
A large property can be hard to police. If your property happens to include a large amount of woodland, then you cannot be responsible for every incident that may occur on it. Most courts deem attractive nuisances to be only those objects that are man-made or that require maintenance. Here are some of the items that are not legally attractive nuisances:
You also cannot be held responsible for choking hazards such as acorns, sticks, and pebbles. If a child climbs up a tree and falls out of it, you cannot be held liable. Indeed, courts understand that children can hurt themselves on virtually anything. You cannot be held liable if a child falls from a great height, falls into an open pit, touches fire, hurts themselves on sharp objects, approaches a wild animal on your land, or scolds themselves with hot water.
The parents or guardians of the child must take some responsibility for their actions. They cannot allow their small children to walk around unsupervised for hours at a time. However, courts also realize that parents cannot keep their children in view every second of every day. The law puts some onus on property owners to keep children safe. Here are some of the attractive nuisances that you can be held responsible for:
- Swimming pools
- Tree houses
- Scaffolding and ladders
- Broken gates
- Easily accessible roofs
If a child is injured on your property, the circumstances of the case will be reviewed and examined thoroughly to determine whether you are liable. Even if a child was injured as a result of contact with one of the above items, it is not always clear that an attractive nuisance case can be brought.