Property owners could be held accountable if a child is injured while exploring attractive nuisances, even if the child trespasses on the property. The law affords children special care because young children might not comprehend the potential dangers they come across. Property owners have a legal responsibility to prevent harm to children. When property owners do not meet the responsibility requirements, they might face premises liability lawsuits filed by the parents of an injured child.
Examples of attractive nuisances
The attractive nuisance doctrine is the duty of special responsibility placed on property owners to take the necessary steps to protect the safety of children. The following are examples of attractive nuisances:
- Swimming pools, tree houses and trampolines
- Tunnels, wells and fountains
- Gasoline pumps, lawnmowers and other machinery
- Landscaping, stairs and paths
- Ladders, scaffolding and rooftops
- Dangerous animals
- Broken gates
Nuisances not regarded as legally attractive
Property owners can typically not be held liable for natural nuisances not created and maintained by the owner. The following are only a few examples:
Parents in Delaware whose children suffered personal injuries while exploring attractive nuisances on someone else’s property might have grounds to pursue financial relief. However, before awarding a monetary judgment, the court will consider the following basic elements:
- Was there a potentially dangerous condition on the defendant’s property?
- Did the landowner create or maintain the potential hazard?
- Should the landowner have known children would be attracted to the condition?
- Should the landowner have known children could be harmed by the condition?
The answers to these questions will determine whether the premises liability is successful or not.