What is an Attractive Nuisance in a Personal Injury Case?

The legal doctrine of premises liability enforces responsibility of a landowner or tenant for any injuries sustained by a third party on their property. One type of case involving premises liability includes what is called “attractive nuisance.”

Most Common Premises Liability Cases  

Slip and fall incidents are the most common type of premises liability cases. A shopper in a grocery store may slip where someone had been mopping because there was no wet floor sign. In this case, that shopper can sue the owner of the store for a premises liability claim because of negligence.

The specific circumstances of the incident can determine that the person or party controlling the premises should be held responsible for a shopper’s injuries. If the store rents the building then their landlord who owns the building would not be held liable, the fault is still with the operator of the store.  

A property owner generally is not responsible for injuries on their property sustained by trespassers. However, the exception to the rule is the rule introduced earlier, “attractive nuisance.” A swimming pool is a perfect example of an attractive nuisance. It is highly attractive to most people particularly children, and every year a number of children drown due to unsecured pools.

Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance

Landowners or tenants may be liable for maintaining anything on the property that is attractive to children. If children are injured by a swimming pool for example, because they are drawn to its attractiveness, the owner can be held liable for that injury. Attractive Nuisance Doctrine is meant to protect children primarily who aren’t able to understand the dangers such hazards could present to them.

A child’s maturity level is weighed case-by-case. If a child has demonstrated a maturity level including understanding of danger, the doctrine may not apply to their particular case.

The laws regarding the doctrine are changing. Before, the nuisance had to be the reason the child entered the premises in the first place, but now, in most states, a property owner or tenant is responsible even if the child entered the property for another reason. Now the requirement is that the owner or tenant could have reasonably predicted that something on the premises could be potentially harmful to the child.

Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer

Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer such as the lawyer locals turn to. Your unique situation and the unfolding of events will be discussed and your lawyer can help you proceed with gathering evidence. Usually an initial consultation is free, and you can decide if you will benefit from the legal advice moving forward.