Under tort law, the attractive nuisance doctrine states that a person who
maintains a dangerous condition that is likely to attract children onto
his or her property has an affirmative duty to post warnings or take some
action to protect children from that dangerous condition. If a person
fails to take these precautions, then he or she may be liable for any
injuries to a child occurring due to the dangerous condition.
One of the most common examples of an attractive nuisance is a backyard
swimming pool. Typically, a landowner should take precautions such as
enclosing the swimming pool with a fence and gate to make the pool inaccessible
by children on their own. As a swimming pool is likely to be irresistible
to an unsupervised child, failing to enclose the swimming pool is likely
to make the landowner liable for any injuries to a child that might occur
in or around the swimming pool. Other types of attractive nuisances might
be trampolines, swing sets, horse stables and hot tubs.
A court may consider a variety of factors in determining whether a landowner
is liable for injuries to a child resulting from an attractive nuisance
such as a swimming pool. For instance, whether the landowner had reason
to think that children would trespass in the pool area, whether the pool
poses an unreasonable risk of harm or death to a child and whether a child
can appreciate the risk involved are all considerations for assessing
the existence of an attractive nuisance.
Avoiding the Attractive Nuisance
As a landowner, you should take all reasonable steps to protect children
from attractive nuisances located on your property. In many jurisdictions,
local or state laws or ordinances require landowners to take certain actions
to protect children from attractive nuisances, such as mandating pool
owners to enclose their pools with fences of a particular height. Using
common sense and judgment in maintaining what others may construe as an
attractive nuisance on your property also will go a long way toward avoiding
liability as a landowner and protecting children from harm.
If an attractive nuisance has resulted in injuries to your child, only
a qualified Sarasota accident attorney can properly advise you of your
legal rights. You may have a valid personal injury claim for compensation
for any injuries to your child. Contact your Sarasota injury lawyer today
for all the information you need about your potential legal claim.