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Property owners have a special duty to protect children

Property owners have a special duty required by law to protect children who might visit their property. It doesn't matter if the property is residential or commercial, children can suffer injuries anywhere. Children, especially younger ones, do not know the dangers that can be present when walking onto someone's property. That is where the attractive nuisance doctrine comes into play.

An attractive nuisance is defined as any man-made object that can tempt a child to enter a property and possibly cause injury. Some of the most common attractive nuisances include swimming pools, machinery (lawnmowers), animals, stairways, tunnels, fountains, wells and even rooftops. Naturally occurring items such as lakes and ponds are typically not covered by the attractive nuisance doctrine since they are not man-made.

The court will determine who is a child and who is not as some still consider teenagers up to the age of 18 children. This means that depending on where you live, the court could play a big role in any premises liability case involving children of all ages.

The attractive nuisance doctrine consists of the following:

  • Children are not expected to understand dangers lurking on other people's property.
  • Property owners have a responsibility to protect children from danger if they believe children would be attracted to their property.
  • Should the owner fail to fulfill this responsibility, he or she could be held liable for any injuries suffered by children on their property.

Premises liability is an important subject that all property owners should understand. When it comes to protecting children, an experienced personal injury attorney in Knoxville knows the laws and what the attractive nuisance doctrine applies to different situations.

Source: FindLaw, "Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?," accessed July 27, 2017

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