Accidents happen, no matter how careful we are. People slip and fall on something that no one can see, but they also fall when there is ice or debris in the way of their walking. Children are more susceptible to injuries mainly because they are closer to the ground and don’t pay as much attention as adults do.
Everything from minor cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injury can be sustained when an individual falls. A simple fall on a concrete walkway can have devastating and lasting effects and children are given extra legal protections under the law.
If your child sustains an injury on someone’s property, what should you do? You first need to make sure your child is taken care of, then you need to understand the law.
“Premises liability” is the name of the main legal principle that holds accountable the owners of a property liable for injuries sustained on their property. However, most cases are based on the property owner’s negligence.
A qualified attorney must prove that the property owner, or landowner, or renter of the property, failed to provide the “standard of care” principle. This means they were negligent in their upkeep of the property. That the safety of those entering the property is in jeopardy due to something the owner would know could cause an accident. This could be something on the walkway, like a child’s toy or wires, or fallen and/or misplaced rocks.
There are laws against trespassing in every state, however, each law may differ by some degree. Traditionally, a homeowner owes nothing to the care of a trespasser, although they cannot willfully harm a person entering their property.
The best way to avoid a child’s injury is for parents to teach them what trespassing is and why they should avoid it.
Property Dangers to Children and The Attractive Nuisance Law
Children, known for being curious, an important trait for learning, can lead them into dangerous situations at times. Objects of an “everyday” nature can lure children onto someone else property. This is why The Attractive Nuisance Law was enacted.
The Attractive Nuisance Law is a special responsibility placed on the property owner so they take steps to protect a child that may enter their property. Making the property less attractive is the goal.
The Three Components to “Attractive Nuisance Law”
– Children are not expected to fully comprehend dangers, even a “Do Not Enter – Danger” sign is not always enough for certain children
– If a property owner may have reason to believe a child or children may venture onto their property, they must prevent them harm, this is a special responsibility law
– A property owner that does not meet this responsibility will be held liable for a child or children’s injuries.
What Constitutes an Attractive Nuisance?
This is said to be anything interesting or attractive to a child. Lawn items including swimming pools, wells, tunnels, fountains, disappearing pathways and dangerous animals are all listed under “attractive” to a child. Of course, this list is not complete, and it could be argued that these items are not attractive to anyone.
If your child is injured on someone’s property, get them medical help immediately, then file a police report. Once your child is on the way to recovery, contact a lawyer to see if you have a case against the homeowner.
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*This is a guest post