What is an “Attractive Nuisance” and Why Should You Care?

fallen man at bottom of staircase

Owning a piece of property comes with many wonderful things. Unfortunately, it also opens you up to new duties and potential liabilities. If someone gets hurt on your property, they may be able to sue you for negligence. That’s why it’s so important that you fully understand the concept of an “attractive nuisance” and how you can minimize the risk associated with your property. 

What is an Attractive Nuisance?

An attractive nuisance is what it sounds like: something on your property that small children would find appealing, but that could result in a serious injury. These are things that you would expect children who come across your property to gravitate towards. Common attractive nuisances include:

  • Swimming pools
  • A water fountain
  • A large hole (e.g. when you are digging for a swimming pool)
  • A large pile of dirt

In most circumstances, if someone comes onto your property without your permission, they would be considered a trespasser. However, small children are usually exempt from the ability to be considered trespassing. Therefore, even if children come onto your property without permission, if they are hurt by an attractive nuisance you could be liable. That’s why it’s important to first consider the likelihood that children will come onto your property so that you can be sure that they are protected. 

Deciding Liability

When deciding whether or not a property owner is liable for an injury caused by an attractive nuisance, the court will look at several factors, such as the age and level of comprehension of the child. 

Another thing that the court will look at is how you tried – or didn’t – to prevent injury to the child; whether you employed reasonable care. If you took all reasonable measures to prevent children from injuring themselves due to the dangerous condition, the court may find that you are not liable for the injury. Common measures that demonstrate reasonable care include:

  • Fences 
  • Cameras
  • Lights
  • Warning signs

When you are faced with a lawsuit for negligence, it can be extremely worrisome. That’s why it’s so important that you understand what could be considered an attractive nuisance and take all necessary steps to prevent potential dangers to children. 

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Been Charged Due to a Slip and Fall Accident

If you or a loved one is facing a lawsuit for negligence, it can greatly impact your life. It can be difficult knowing what you should do or what is in your best interest. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of attractive nuisances and negligence and understand the effects that such lawsuits can and often do have on so many aspects of your life. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Slip and Fall Accidents