Most people know that they cannot enter another person’s property without permission. The premises liability rule of trespass says that the property owner is not responsible for any injuries to a trespasser as long as there is nothing especially dangerous on the property. However, what about children who do not understand the trespass rule and cannot appreciate the danger of an eye-catching object such as a tractor, swimming pool or man-made pond?
An attractive nuisance is a condition on a person’s property that attracts children who can’t appreciate the foreseeable danger inherent in the condition. Trampolines, construction equipment and swimming pools are common attractive nuisances for which property owners may be liable for any damages if a trespassing child is injured or killed because of them.
To hold a property owner responsible for injuries caused by an attractive nuisance on the property, the parents of the injured child must prove each of the following elements:
Proving personal injury under the attractive nuisance doctrine depends on the unique facts of each case. The level of understanding of a child varies depending on the age and what constitutes reasonable care will change with the type of dangerous condition and age of the child who was hurt. For example, a sign that says “Warning: Construction in Progress” may be considered reasonable care for children aged 11, but not aged three.
If a loved one has been injured by a dangerous condition on a neighboring property, contact a San Diego personal injury attorney to evaluate if you may be able to collect damages.