Kids are inquisitive by nature—and sometimes that curiosity can get them into trouble. Attractive nuisance laws exist to protect little ones from objects, structures, or situations that are both dangerous and intriguing to them. As any lawyer will tell you, it’s essential for residential and commercial property owners alike to take appropriate precautions to avoid violating these laws. Here’s what you need to know.
Types of Attractive Nuisances
Attractive nuisance doctrine requires property owners to take reasonable precautionary measures to safeguard children who may come onto their property. Even if the little ones are trespassing, a lawyer can make a case against you since younger kids often don’t understand this concept.
If you have something on your property that could attract kids and potentially cause bodily harm, you should exercise precautions. For instance, say you have a swimming pool; most states have laws requiring you to enclose it with a fence to keep kids out. If you fail to do so and a child falls into the pool and is hurt, you could be found liable.
Another example could be a construction site. If you are undertaking renovations of your business, you will likely use dangerous machinery—from jackhammers to nail guns. These tools need to be securely locked away when not in use. Appropriate barriers should prevent access to the site, which could have other dangers like rubble.
How Liability Is Determined
When deciding liability in such cases, courts consider if the defendant undertook sufficient safety measures as well as the age of the child harmed. For instance, simply posting a “Broken: Do Not Use” sign on a faulty staircase is enough to warn off a teenager who can read—but not a toddler who can’t.
Another consideration is whether the property owner was aware of the danger on their property. A prosecuting lawyer will have to show that you knew of the problem and the potential harm it could cause. This is essential to proving you acted carelessly.
If you are facing charges related to attractive nuisance laws, The Walker Firm in Warner Robins, GA, can help. These attorneys are recognized for their extensive legislative knowledge and straightforward communication. They will break down the legal jargon for you, ensuring you understand the details of any charges against you—whether it’s a felony case or a car accident. You can learn about their lawyers online. For an appointment to meet them in person, call (478) 923-4152.