An attractive nuisance is potentially problematic for a homeowner. Essentially, it’s defined as something that may encourage children to trespass because young kids, not understanding potential consequences or the law, will be drawn to it. If they are then injured and the homeowner didn’t take any steps to protect them, he or she may be liable for those injuries.
The example that is cited the most is the in-ground swimming pool. A pool without a fence could be an attractive nuisance because there is nothing stopping the three-year-old neighbor child from wandering onto the property without supervision and falling into the water. The homeowner can argue that the child shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but, if no steps to install safety features around a clear danger were taken, he or she may still be responsible.
Some other attractive nuisances may include:
- Railroads – Many experts actually trace the origins of this law back to a young child who climbed onto a turntable. When it turned, his foot was crushed.
- Construction zones – Children often think piles of rubble and construction machines look very fun to play on.
- Ponds – These is dangerous for the same reason a pool is a hazard.
- Old appliances – Don’t put that old fridge in the yard — take it to the dump. Children have been known to climb inside while playing, then tragically wind up trapped.
- Outdoor toys – Tree houses are fun for kids to explore, but younger children can get hurt ascending the branches..
These are just a handful of examples, but they help to show how the law works. If your child has been injured and you didn’t think you could get compensation because he or she was technically trespassing, it may be worth looking into all of your legal options.
Source: How Stuff Works, “10 Most Common Attractive Nuisances,” Beth Brindle, accessed Oct. 20, 2017