Some in Nevada say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and it is true that children are naturally curious, especially when something seems enticing to them. Unfortunately, children are still learning and developing, so they may not understand when a situation is dangerous and when it is not. Therefore, the law imposes a responsibility on property owners to keep their premises safe for children who may be on it. This is known legally as the “attractive nuisance” doctrine.
For legal purposes, an attractive nuisance is something that would catch a child’s interest and draw them onto another person’s property. While state law varies, oftentimes an attractive nuisance must be something man-made. For example, a swimming pool, well, or stairway may be an attractive nuisance, while a pond or a large rock may not.
Property owners may be found liable if they do not keep their premises safe where there is an attractive nuisance. For example, if someone has a swimming pool, they may need to erect a fence around the pool to keep children out of it. Even less obvious dangers, such as a rooftop, may need to be made less accessible if it is known that children in the neighborhood tend to try to climb up on roofs.
If a child is injured by an attractive nuisance, the property owner may be responsible for the child’s injuries in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit. This may be especially true if it seems apparent that the property owner paid very little care to the fact that their premises were dangerous for children. However, as this post cannot provide advice on any single person’s specific situation, those who need more information on how the attractive nuisance doctrine applies to them will want to seek legal guidance.