Attorneys in Kentucky Fighting for Parents with Injured Kids
When a property contains an item that draws in a child and leads to harm, it is considered an attractive nuisance. Attractive nuisances are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They increase insurance rates and hike premiums, but there is good reason: They pose a high risk for injury. Even the most cautious homeowner can have an attractive nuisance that leads to injury. When they don’t take measures to prevent those injuries, they are liable for the damages caused.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine: Three Basic Principles
The law places responsibility on the homeowner to protect children from harm – whether it is their child or someone else’s in the neighborhood. This is what creates the attractive nuisance doctrine.
The doctrine itself consists of three main points:
- A child should not be expected to comprehend dangers that he or she faces.
- If an owner feels that a child could enter the property, he or she is required to protect children from harm on the property.
- If the owner fails to protect the child, he or she is liable for injuries and death as a result.
Examples of Attractive Nuisances
There are several items in a homeowner’s backyard and inside the home that are considered attractive nuisances. Some typical nuisances include:
- Swimming pools and spas
- Pathways and staircases
- Wells and tunnels
- Farming equipment
- Construction sites
- Power lines and cords
- Abandoned vehicles
- Old appliances
- Playgrounds and swing sets
There are also less intuitive things, such as a person’s rooftop, that can become attractive nuisances. If you know that a local child climbs on your roof, for example, you must take measures to prevent it from happening again.
Posting Signs Are Not Enough
Children do not fully understand the dangers that they put themselves in, and if an owner were to place a “no trespassing” or “caution” sign on the property, a child may not understand what it means. Dangers from these attractive nuisances are very real, which is why the doctrine was created. Children, or their parents, should not be responsible for injuries that could have been prevented by routine maintenance and care of a home.
If, for example, an owner with a swimming pool cannot just post a sign stating that there is a risk for drowning, then they must gate off the pool (or take some other measure) so that children cannot enter that area in the first place. Now, if a child climbs the fence to get into the pool and is injured, the owner may not be liable, since he or she did all that could be done to stop the child from entering the property.
Teens Versus Children
The courts have a broad definition for what they consider to be a “child.” Teenagers could still be considered children, and it is important to note that attractive nuisances do not just apply to very small children. Teens often fail to appreciate the consequences of their actions; therefore, they may not appreciate the fact that jumping off a rooftop into a swimming pool could lead to a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or death.
Was Your Child Injured by an Attractive Nuisance? Contact an Attorney Right Away
Homeowners are required to keep their property safe. If they have an attractive nuisance, but don’t take measures to protect young children from harm, they are considered liable. To seek compensation for your child’s injury and hold those homeowners responsible, you must contact an attorney.
Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC is here to work as your advocate. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling us or request more information online.