What is an attractive nuisance in Pennsylvania?

child walking outside

As a homeowner, you take the necessary steps to remedy hazards on your property. Whether this is installing a fence to keep people off your property or locking up your heavy machinery after use, these steps can help protect children who may wander onto your property. However, when someone in your neighborhood does not take the steps to prevent accidents, your child may suffer as a result. If your child was injured because of an attractive nuisance on another person’s property, knowing how to proceed with the assistance of personal injury attorneys is vital. Keep reading to learn more.

What does it mean if something is an attractive nuisance?

An attractive nuisance is a legal term to describe something on a person’s property that may look inviting to children when, in reality, it can cause significant harm. It is the duty of the property owner to mitigate the potential for damages by taking the necessary steps to reduce risk.

Unfortunately, many homeowners assume when a child wanders onto their property and gets hurt, they are protected because the child is technically trespassing. However, children are treated differently under the law, as they are not expected to anticipate a hazard in most instances. It’s important to understand that attractive nuisance laws generally protect children under 12, but can offer protections for children up to 17.

What are examples of these attractions?

Generally, an attractive nuisance is something man-made that can entice a child to enter the property and interact with the fixture or item. This may sound broad, but most courts clearly outline what is considered an attractive nuisance. The following are common nuisances:

  • Swimming pools
  • Construction sites
  • Man-made ponds
  • Water fountains
  • Treehouses
  • Wells
  • Heavy machinery
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Trampolines
  • Old appliances

What should I do if my child is hurt on another person’s property?

If your child is injured while on another person’s property because the landowner did not take the necessary steps to mitigate damages, understanding how to proceed is vital.

You should immediately seek medical attention for the injuries your child sustained. This is essential for the health and safety of your child, as well as proving that you tried to mitigate damages by treating the injuries your child endured as a result of the nuisance.

To help prove the property owner liable, you’ll need to establish your child’s youth and naivety prevented them from fully comprehending the risks associated with the hazard before approaching. You must also prove that the property owner should have understood the risks associated with failure to secure an attractive nuisance, such as failing to put fencing around a pool.

If a negligent neighbor is responsible for the injuries your child endured, you’ll want to contact Friedman Schuman as soon as possible. We understand that these can be nuanced issues, so ensuring you have an experienced attorney to represent you is essential. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you through these challenging times.

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