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Attractive Nuisance

Local Attractive Nuisance Injury Law Firm

The attractive nuisance doctrine is a part of the law that is sometimes used in premises liability cases. But, what is an attractive nuisance? How does it apply to some cases and not others?

swimming pools are a common attractive nuisance

Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The doctrine itself states a possessor of land can be held liable for physical harm to children trespassing on the property when certain conditions are met.

  • If a property has an artificial feature or condition that is likely to attract children
  • AND the possessor knows or should know there is a reasonable risk of bodily harm and/or death to such children
  • AND the child/children may not understand the risk of entering the area where the condition exists
  • AND the cost of maintaining the safe condition and burden of eliminating the danger are minor compared to the risks to children
  • AND the possessor fails to take reasonable action/care to eliminate the danger and/or otherwise protect children

When these conditions are met, the attractive nuisance doctrine may support a successful personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Examples of An Attractive Nuisance

Many things can qualify as an attractive nuisance under the law. Typically, an attractive nuisance is a man-made feature on the property that would be enticing for children. Basic examples include:

  • swimming pools/hot tubs
  • trampolines
  • construction vehicles
  • construction sites
  • junk yards
  • abandoned vehicles
  • wells/cisterns/septic tanks

Features like the above can attract a child’s curiosity. Young children are especially vulnerable because they are unable to understand the risks/dangers and unable to read warning signs. As such, a possessor of land has a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent accidental harm or death.

residential trampolines are an example of an attractive nuisance

What Are Reasonable Measures?

What kind of ‘reasonable measures’ must a property owner take to prevent accidental harm? It depends on the feature and local/state regulations. Regulations might require a fence or other basic safety measures.

When Does The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine Apply?

The attractive nuisance doctrine applies to children almost exclusively. There are specific circumstances when the attractive nuisance doctrine can apply to an adult. If an adult is injured in an attempt to rescue a child from an attractive nuisance, the doctrine may apply in their situation. In most situations, a trespassing adult is not covered by the attractive nuisance doctrine.

construction sites can be an attractive nuisance

Attractive Nuisance Injury Lawsuits

If a child is injured or dies as a result of an attractive nuisance, there may be valid grounds for a claim against the property owner. A premises liability attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

Kane & Silverman is a personal injury law firm in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Contact us for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney near you. You don’t pay us anything unless we recover money for you.

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