Recovering For Injuries to Trespassing Children
Home and landowners generally have to be careful when other people come onto their property because if the visitors get injured, the home and landowners may be held liable for the cost of the injuries. The costs could go beyond medical costs and could include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even costs for injuries resulting in permanent disability to the injured person. In most cases, the owner’s liability depends on the manner in which injured person got injured. This may become tricky when it comes to children injured on the property, as there are often different rules that apply to children.
What is an attractive nuisance?
While Florida law offers property owners immunity for the injuries of various people while on the owners’ properties, the law does not generally apply these exceptions to children, if there are certain conditions on the property that may be considered attractive nuisances. An attractive nuisance is a dangerous condition that exists on a property, and can pose a significant risk to a trespassing child who is too young to understand the risk. This includes things like abandoned refrigerators, old junk cars, trampolines, hot tubs, or even large uncovered holes.
There are five main elements that a plaintiff suing under an attractive nuisance doctrine generally has to prove in order for the defendant property owner to be found liable;
- The property owner knows or should know that a child might trespass on the location of the dangerous condition;
- The dangerous condition on the property is known or should be known to cause an unreasonable risk of harm to a child;
- The child cannot appreciate the risk involved in the dangerous condition due to the child’s age;
- The property owner’s cost to remove the dangerous condition on the property is less than the risk to the child; and,
- The property owner was negligent in failing to remove the danger or protect the injured child from the risk of danger.
A property owner can seek to protect themselves by fencing their property or even putting up “no trespassing” signs to warn of the dangerous conditions on the property. However, these measures may not work in all cases because a child could be too young to appreciate the significance of these protective measures.
It is important to note that how the child gets on the premises can be a deciding factor as to whether or not the attractive nuisance doctrine applies. The attractive nuisance doctrine is applicable in cases where a child trespasses on the property on which he or she gets injured. If the child is invited onto the property, and is subsequently injured, the property owner may still be held liable for the injuries depending on the facts of the case, but the attractive nuisance doctrine will not apply.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney
If your child sustained serious injuries while on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Medical costs and even permanent disability can be a strain on your family. Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at Boone & Davis for a consultation today.