What is an Attractive Nuisance?
As a homeowner, you may have heard the term “attractive nuisance,” but what does it mean and how does it affect you? An attractive nuisance is something on your property that looks good to kids but can be dangerous. A swimming pool is probably the most common type of attractive nuisance, but can include playground structures, trampolines, water fountains, animals, construction projects, power tools, weapons, large toys and anything else that makes a kid go “wow!” Even cars, piles of dirt and old appliances can attract children, so you need to be mindful of what you put in your yard, especially if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids.
An attractive nuisance consists of four elements:
- A dangerous condition on the property
- The dangerous condition was created by the property owner
- The property owner had knowledge that the condition would attract children
- The property owner had knowledge that the condition could harm children.
In any case, you could be held liable for any injuries that occur on your property, even if the child enters your property without your permission. But this doesn’t mean you need to dig up your pool or make your yard more boring. You can, however, take steps to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by foreseeing any dangers so you can protect yourself from premises liability lawsuits.
Property owners must take precautions to keep guests safe. However, when children come onto a property uninvited, they become trespassers instead of guests. While adult trespassers should know not to enter one’s property without permission, children who trespass are treated differently. Typically, children under the age of 6 or 7 (depending on the state) are not legally considered negligent due to their young age. Texas law does not use an age limit, though. Instead, Texas law applies to children who are too young to appreciate the danger. Therefore, children are treated the same as guests and other classes of invitees.
What this means is that property owners could be held liable when a child is injured on their property because of an attractive nuisance. Liability will depend on whether or not a reasonable person could foresee danger and if steps were taken to prevent injuries. Liability is not always clear-cut, as you can see. What is considered a reasonable person? How is it determined what can and cannot be foreseen? Each case depends on the facts of the situation, and common sense prevails. The best course of action is to adhere to building and safety codes.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Certain things on your property may attract children, who may be curious about these items but unaware of the dangers they can present. In these cases, if you are a property owner, you can be held liable.
If you are a victim, the Houston premises liability attorneys at The West Law Office, PLLC can help you with a personal injury claim. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation today by calling 281-347-3247 or filling out the online form.