What Is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

Being injured on the property of another can be a scary experience. But unless you are legally on the property at the time of the incident, the property owner owed you no duty of care other than to refrain from causing you willful or wanton harm. This means that if you were trespassing and harmed by a dangerous condition on another’s property, you could not hold the property owner liable for your injuries.

However, the duty owed to trespassers by a property owner changes when the trespasser is a child. Indeed, if a child trespasser is harmed on another’s property, the property owner may be held liable per the doctrine of attractive nuisance.

Understanding the Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance

The doctrine of attractive nuisance is a legal theory that holds property owners liable for harm caused to young children on their property when:

  • An attraction or condition exists on a person’s property that may cause harm to a child (i.e. a pool or trampoline);
  • The property owner does not take action to prevent children from entering the property and being harmed (i.e. putting up a fence); and
  • The child is assumed to be too young to appreciate the risks associated with trespassing on the property.

Types of Attractive Nuisances

There are myriad different items and conditions that could exist on a property that may be attractive to young children. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Swimming pools, ponds, and other water attractions;
  • Old vehicles;
  • Old appliances, such as refrigerators;
  • Open pits;
  • Construction equipment;
  • Playgrounds;
  • Sports equipment; and
  • More.

A property owner must take action to correct the dangerous condition (i.e. remove construction equipment, old appliances and vehicles, etc.) or take action to prevent a child from entering the property or being harmed, such as by putting up a fence, covering a pool, or employing another form of security.

Has Your Child Been Harmed?

If your child has been harmed on the property of another, the doctrine of attractive nuisance may apply in your case, and may be the foundation of your personal injury claim to recover compensation for your child’s injuries. To learn more about how to bring forth a premises liability suit after an injury to a child, please contact our Oklahoma City personal injury law offices today. You can reach our legal team online or by phone. Consultations are offered free of charge, and if you do hire our law firm, we work on a contingency fee basis.

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