An attractive nuisance is a manmade condition that might entice a child to trespass upon another person’s property. Attractive nuisance laws hold that property owners may be liable for any injuries children suffer if the owner did not take reasonable measures to prevent access to the object in question.
What Types of Objects Might Be an Attractive Nuisance?
The following objects are examples of attractive nuisances:
- Jungle gyms and playground equipment
- Swimming pools
- Abandoned vehicles
- Piles of wood
- Discarded appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and freezers
- Power lines
What Elements Must Be Present in Attractive Nuisance Cases?
Premises liability laws establish when a property owner is liable for injuries on his property. In most cases, a property owner is not liable for any injuries a trespasser suffers. However, cases involving attractive nuisances and children are an exception because the law does not expect them to act as responsibly as adults.
An adult knows that he should not go onto another person’s property and swim in that person’s pool. A child may not.
However, that does not mean that the attractive nuisance doctrine applies in every case. The Supreme Court of Georgia established the state’s attractive nuisance laws in Gregory v. Johnson. The verdict states that victims of attractive nuisance accidents must prove the following to prove a liability claim:
- The place where the condition exists is one upon which the property owner knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass.
- The property owner knew or should have known the object in question posed an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to children.
- The condition is one which the property owner knows (or has reason to know) involves an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children.
- The child, due to his age, was not aware of the dangers of trespassing on the property or playing with the object in question.
- The property owner failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children, e.g., a property owner failed to place a fence around his pool, knowing that there were young children in the neighborhood.
Many of these factors are difficult to prove definitively. For instance, a property owner will most likely argue that their safety considerations were reasonable precautions, and that your child should understand the present dangers.
But S. Burke Law has represented hundreds of Atlanta residents in personal injury claims over the past 20 years. We know what it takes to prove that the considerations were inadequate to protect your child.
Call S. Burke Law for Help with an Attractive Nuisance Case
Call us now for a free consultation if your child recently suffered injuries on another person’s property. During this consultation, we can offer further explanation of Georgia’s attractive nuisance laws and lay out your options for recovering compensation. Our consultations are always free, so there is no obligation when you reach out to us at 404-842-7838.