What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

One of the main foundations of premises liability law is determining what duty of care a property owner in Las Vegas owes to their guests. In general, short of actually causing harm to you, a property owner cannot be held liable for injuries you or any other adult may sustain while on their properties. Yet does the same standard apply to your kids? While kids may be told that they are not to go on to another's property, there may be times when particular features of a property may be too enticing for them to avoid. This is when the attractive nuisance doctrine comes into play. 

The attractive nuisance doctrine recognizes that children (especially small children) may not have the comprehension needed to avoid attractions that could prove dangerous to them (e.g. swimming pools, construction sites, abandoned buildings). Thus, the owners of the properties on which these nuisances are found may be held liable if your child is injured by them. 

The Nevada State Senate has established the standard for applying the attractive nuisance doctrine to personal injury cases. Even if your child is on another's property without permission, the property may be liable for injuries your kids sustained from an artificial condition of the land if the following can be proven: 

  • The condition exists in an area that the property owner knows (or should know) that children are likely to trespass in
  • The property owner knows the condition presents potential dangers to children
  • Your child lacks the comprehension to see the danger
  • The utility required of the property owner to protect children from the danger is slight compared to the risks it poses
  • The property owner failed to protect children said danger

Protection in this context may be erecting a fence or other barrier in order to restrict access. 

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