Premises liability dictates who is responsible for injuries when somebody wanders onto a property and is injured. Usually, somebody who is invited onto a property will always be covered when it comes to an accident claim. On the other hand, trespassers are usually barred from bringing a claim because trespassers have no legal right to enter the property without permission. If you are a trespasser, you may not be able to compensate for your injuries because you should not have been on the property. But what happens if that trespasser just so happens to be a child? What does the law say about that?
When a Child is on Property
When somebody knows that a child wanders onto their property, even if the child is trespassing, it is important for the owner of the property to take measures to keep the property as safe as possible. Children are owed the highest duty of care possible, especially when it comes to properties and the dangerous conditions that could be present. For example, there may be holes on the property if the owner gardens often, or if there are animals prone to biting and swimming pools where a child could very easily drown. Even though a lesser duty is owed to children who trespass, it is still a higher duty of care than any adult who might wander onto the property.
Attractive Nuisance Laws
What are attractive nuisance laws and how do they apply? In the 1870s, courts decided that it was too harsh to deny children a claim just because they were trespassing on a property. They moved forward with their decision to implement these laws on the premise that children don’t always understand that they are trespassing on someone else’s property. And what if that property contained a condition that was especially thrilling to a child, such as a playground or a swimming pool? What would stop the child from trespassing if their parents were not around when the accident occurred?
If the defendant knew that children would be on their property but did nothing to stop the condition, a child could gain recovery after an accident. Let’s say that a neighbor caught children playing in their swimming pool multiple times and knew that this could pose many dangers, but still disregarded it and refused to put up a surrounding fence. If a child is then injured, the property owner could technically be found liable for injuries.
In other cases, a dangerous dog could be considered an attractive nuisance as well, because children are prone to wandering onto a property if they see a dog. If the dog was not chained up or there was no fence around the property, the child would not be seen as liable for their own injuries and a property could be held liable if the child was bitten by the dog. As long as the danger falls within the realm of an “attractive nuisance,” the property owner would be liable for injuries.
Children have a right to compensation under any circumstances when they have been seriously injured. At JD Haas & Associates, we can help you and your child in your time of need. Your child has a right to recovery and we want to help you every step of the way, from initial filing to gaining compensation.