Children are naturally curious about the world around them and often do things that they may not realize are unsafe at the time. Without adult supervision, children may not abide by certain rules and limitations that adult individuals would normally follow. While a property owner is typically not responsible for any injury that a trespasser suffers, the law differs when the accident involves a child.
Under premises liability law, the only requirement that a property owner must follow with regard to adult trespassers is that an owner must refrain from intentionally injuring them. With children, if a dangerous condition exists that could be attractive to a child, the property owner has a duty to take reasonable action to eliminate the threat or otherwise protect the child from harm. If the owner fails to do so, he or she may be responsible for any injuries and damages that result from an accident involving a child.
This stipulation is known as the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine and only applies to artificial conditions. For example, if a child trespasses on property and is injured on a trampoline or in a swimming pool that is not fenced in, the owner may be liable. If a child is injured from natural conditions, such as from a tree or ditch, the property owner may not be responsible. The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine typically applies to young children and to risks which young children may not be able to perceive as a danger.
If your child has been injured on someone’s property because of a dangerous artificial condition, the property owner may be responsible and your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages from time off of work, and general pain and suffering.