In most premises liability cases, the injured party has little claim to compensation if they were found to be trespassing on the defendant's property. There is, however, one exception to this under Florida law: when the injury victim is a young child. Below, we take a closer look at "attractive nuisance" claims and when property owners are liable for the injury of a child on their premises.
What Is an "Attractive Nuisance?"
An attractive nuisance is an unsecured property feature that naturally piques the curiosity of a child but also poses a significant danger to them. If a small child is drawn to the property feature, even if they are trespassing, the property owner can, in some cases, be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
Examples of attractive nuisance property features include:
- Discarded washers and dryers
- Discarded refrigerators or freezer lockers
- Swimming pools
- Abandoned cars
When Is a Property Owner Responsible?
A property owner can be held responsible for the injury of a trespassing child if certain conditions are met-- much like other premises liability claims involving adult victims. In an attractive nuisance claim, it must be demonstrated that the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition and the risk it posed to children, that the burden of remedying the condition is slight, and that the owner still left the dangerous condition unattended.
There are also added considerations in attractive nuisance claims. For instance, it must also be demonstrated that the child could not have been aware of the danger the property feature posed. So, for example, if a property owner tries to argue that they put up signage to warn anyone on their property of danger, they may still be liable if it is proven that the child was too young to read or understand the sign.
If your child has been hurt on someone else's property, then our dedicated Martin County personal injury lawyers are ready to hear from you. At Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, our team has more than 70 years of collective experience and a proven track record of securing results for our injured, bereaved, and injured clients.
Do not face this difficult time alone. Contact our advocates today to request a free case evaluation.