Children are among the most vulnerable in our society. For this reason, the law has put certain protections in place to help ensure their safety. One of these laws is the law of attractive nuisance. Under this law, a property owner can be held liable for injuries to a child when something on his or her property not only draws a child onto the premises, but also puts him or her in danger. Children are often unable to properly assess the risk they face, so this law imposes a special duty on property owners to either avoid these attractions, or take additional steps to ensure that children cannot easily access them.
So what would qualify as an attractive nuisance? Generally speaking, it is anything that can draw a child onto one's property. In practice, though, courts have interpreted the law pretty narrowly. For example, sometimes courts only consider man-made objects to be attractive nuisances. In this situation, a swimming pool may be considered an attractive nuisance, whereas a pond would not. Although the law recognizes that children are unable to accurately gauge danger, it also recognizes that children can perceive obvious dangers, such as falls from great heights.
Children who are injured by an attractive nuisance can have extensive damages. Not only may he or she suffer physical pain and suffering, but the child may also experience emotional trauma. The child's parents may also incur significant medical expenses as they seek out adequate care for their child's injuries. These damages may be recoverable via a personal injury lawsuit, but the process isn't always easy.
Regardless of whether a child was injured by a dog, a swimming pool, or some sort of machinery on the property of another, in order to succeed under an attractive nuisance theory, a plaintiff must show that a property owner failed to take the precautions necessary to ensure the protection of any children who may come onto his or her land. To craft compelling legal arguments in support of their position, plaintiffs in these cases may want to speak with a qualified legal professional about pursuing a premises liability lawsuit.