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Premises liability: What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

If you have small children, you probably realize that they are very curious and attracted to things that are not always safe. Sometimes, this curiosity becomes irresistible, leading children to wander onto someone else's property to explore. In terms of the law, these are known as attractive nuisances.

The problem with these attractions is that they can result in serious and life-threatening injuries to children. As such, the property owner may be held accountable for the injuries in a premises liability claim. This is so even if a child entered onto the property without the owner's permission.

If you are still unclear about what may constitute an attractive nuisance, the section below provides several examples that are often present on properties in New York.

  • Trampolines
  • Swimming pools and other water hazards
  • Playground equipment
  • Tree houses
  • Piles of wood or tree limbs
  • Pets
  • Tunnels or wells

Essentially, the attractive nuisance doctrine means that property owners in New York have a legal duty to ensure children remain safe on their premises, even if they were not invited. The doctrine is meant to protect children but it also provides families with the means to seek compensation through a premises liability claim should a child become hurt.

As in other areas of personal injury law, victimized families would benefit from legal guidance if they intend to pursue a premises liability claim under the attractive nuisance doctrine. Seeking counsel from a lawyer can ensure that the family of an injured child acquires enough compensation to cover or aid in the victim's medical care and other out of pocket expenses.

Source: Esurance, "What is an attractive nuisance?," accessed July 19, 2017

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