Property owners have a duty of care to protect people on their property, including neighborhood kids who may be visiting their friends. When kids get hurt at a friend’s house, the property owner can be held liable for injuries.
What is an Attractive Nuisance?
“Attractive nuisance” is a term that applies to property that is particularly enticing and inherently dangerous to young children. For homeowners, attractive nuisances may apply to such things as backyard swimming pools, trampolines, swing sets, play equipment, piles of lumber or firewood, outdoor ladders, and even family pets. If a child is injured on a friend’s property, the court will evaluate the case based on the age of the child to determine if attractive nuisance liability applies. If a child is determined to be old enough to understand and appreciate the hazardous condition on the property, the attractive nuisance doctrine will typically not apply.
To avoid accidents and injuries, parents should make sure the environment children play in is free of dangers. Checking for hazardous conditions on a regular basis can prevent serious injuries. With children around, it’s important for outdoor play areas to have soft ground surfaces or rubber mats and sturdy, safe equipment to prevent serious injuries from falls. Swimming pools should have pool fencing to prevent unauthorized entry and pool covers to prevent accidental drownings.
Liability for Accidents and Injuries
Backyard swimming pools pose a variety of injury risks for children, from slip and fall injuries to death from drowning. Typically, homeowners will be held liable for any injuries or fatalities that take place in or around a pool on their property, even if the injured child didn’t have permission to use the pool. A personal injury lawyer sees many cases of accidental swimming pool injuries to young children, especially when the pool was unattended or unsecured.
For homeowners, swimming pool liability always attaches to the owner of the pool. Since swimming pools pose significant injury risks, especially for children, many homeowners purchase separate insurance policies for swimming pool liability to cover potential accidents and injuries. Homeowner insurance policies usually cover certain accidents and injuries like slip and falls and dog bites that occur on a property. Medical bills for injuries are covered up to a certain dollar amount.