The Dangers of Attractive Nuisances

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Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers help victims injured due to attractive nuisances.Property owners should protect themselves against hazards that are known as attractive nuisances. These hazards are human-made fixtures or items on a property that would likely attract children to the property. Property owners have a duty to ensure that these fixtures or items are not easily accessible to children, despite children’s natural propensity for curiosity. This means that natural features, such as ponds and lakes, are normally not subject to attractive nuisance laws.

Children will not always fully comprehend the dangers of something that is on another’s property and it may attract children to that property, which is why these laws are important. However, most states assume that children will inherently recognize certain dangers, such as fire or falling from a great height. On the other hand, a rooftop that is easily accessible to children or a ladder that has not been timely removed from an area may be considered an attractive nuisance and the owner could be liable for accidents associated with them.

Attractive Nuisances

Common examples of attractive nuisances on a property are:

  • Wells and tunnels
  • Paths and stairs
  • Dangerous animals
  • Swimming pools and fountains
  • Machinery that has been left out for an extended period or that is a fixture on the property

For example, a property owner may have an affirmative duty to restrict access to wells and tunnels present on the property. Most local governments have ordinances requiring a fence with a secured gate around a pool or other water structure. A lawnmower that is left outside and is turned off for fifteen minutes while the owner goes inside may not rise to the level of an attractive nuisance but if the lawnmower is left out for weeks on end in the same spot, it may raise the curiosity of local children and therefore qualify as an attractive nuisance.

Age and Liability

Liability for attractive nuisances may not be restricted to small children only. A property owner may still be responsible if a teenager was injured on the property due to an attractive nuisance. Most states will not have a specific age limit but will look at the child and the specific attractive nuisance in question on a case by case basis.

Premises Liability

As a property owner, it always makes sense to err on the side of caution and prevent children access to anything you believe could attract their attention. This could prevent you from incurring any premises liability if an injury on your property happens. Signs may not be adequate in the event of an accident since not all children will be able to read them.

Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates Help Victims Injured Due to Attractive Nuisances

If you suffered from an accident on another person’s property, that property owner could be liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine. Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates can evaluate the situation and provide you with legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Please contact us online or call us at 215-569-9100 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients from the surrounding areas.