Many things are new and exciting for children. While encouraging curiosity in young ones is a good thing, that curiosity can sometimes result in precarious situations and injuries. Their interest in “attractive nuisances” are among the biggest threats to their safety. If your child was injured because of an attractive nuisance, take a moment to learn more about the Virginia laws that apply. You may have a case to discuss with a personal injury attorney.
What Do I Need to Know About Attractive Nuisance Laws in Virginia?
Examples of Attractive Nuisances
Attractive nuisances may appeal to children, but they could potentially put them in harm’s way. Such nuisances come in many forms, including swimming pools, wells, dangerous animals, construction sites and equipment, large appliances and machinery, jungle gyms, and trampolines.
These features, sites, and products typically look fun, such as a backyard pool, or intriguing, such as a construction site with large, climbable dirt mounts. Yet children may not realize the dangers attractive nuisances present since their reasoning and impulse control skills have not fully developed.
What If the Child Was Trespassing?
Trespassing laws do not apply to children the same way they do to adults. According to Virginia’s Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, while adults are liable for any injuries they sustain for trespassing on another’s property, children under seven years old are not. This is because they are “immature and lack sound judgment.”
The doctrine also states that although it is the responsibility of parents to look after their children, they are not expected to keep them indoors or follow them wherever they go. In most cases, neither children nor their parents are subsequently responsible for injuries incurred due to trespassing.
Who Is Liable If an Injury Results?
Property owners accept liability for attractive nuisance cases resulting in personal injury claims. The plaintiff and lawyer must prove the property owner did not exercise reasonable care to protect children from severe injuries and death, such as an individual who did not adhere to Virginia pool fence regulations.
If insufficient fencing resulted in serious injuries or drowning, the property owner could face a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit as well as state fines. Property owners also become liable if they knew trespassing by children was likely, did not take steps to remove the dangerous object or feature, or failed to make safety repairs despite minimal costs.
Discuss your personal injury or wrongful death claim with Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law. Serving the Roanoke, VA area since 1979, this law firm offers the experience, knowledge, and compassion that puts clients at ease. Call (540) 342-2000 today to schedule a free consultation or visit the firm online for more information. Receive additional legal tips on Facebook.