Children are perhaps the most vulnerable amongst us. Parents will do just about anything to ensure their children’s safety, but sometimes their safety is out of their control. When the negligence of another results in harm to a child, the child’s parents may be able to take legal action to pursue accountability and compensation.
One way to do this is to pursue a claim on the legal theory of “attractive nuisance.” Generally speaking, the law disallows people from owning things that draw children in and poses a threat to them. When property owners do own these items that are attractive to children, they must take special precautions to ensure child safety. This law seeks to account for the fact that children don’t fully comprehend dangers posed to them.
So, what constitutes an attractive nuisance? Courts usually require that they be man-made, maintained by the property owner and so enticing to a child that it draws the child onto the property. Things that are commonly recognized as attractive nuisances include swimming pools, fountains, machinery such a lawnmowers, wells, animals and stairs. Property owners who possess any of these things must take certain steps to ensure they are protecting children from them, such as by setting up a fence, lest they be held liable in civil court.
The common defense in an attractive nuisance case is that the property owner took adequate steps to warn and protect children from dangers posed by those items. When facing this defense, parents may want to have a legal advocate on their side who understands this area of the law and can make strong legal arguments as to why certain actions taken by a property owner were inadequate in the eyes of the law.