Many California homeowners are unaware of the fact that they may be liable for children that come onto their property and get injured even if they’re not invited. This area of the law falls underneath what is known as attractive nuisances. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what an attractive nuisance is and how you can be held liable for another’s injuries caused by it.
What is an attractive nuisance?
Premises liability law defines an attractive nuisance as any home feature that entices a child to come onto your property and could cause a potential for injury. Some attractive nuisances include swimming pools, playsets, trampolines and even water features like a fountain. While these features may seem harmless to the average adult, children don’t always know the dangers that could happen with these features.
While many of the features that we went over so far are permanent features, even temporary features can sometimes be considered an attractive nuisance. For example, if you leave your lawnmower in the middle of your lawn instead of putting it away in the shed, it could be considered an attractive nuisance for a child passing by.
What is your responsibility as a homeowner?
As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to take reasonable action to make your property safe. This does not only include being safe for reasonable adults but also safe for children that are passing by and may choose to enter the property without your permission. Due to the wide spectrum of features that can be considered an attractive nuisance, a reasonable action will be determined based on the specific circumstances of the nuisance involved.
As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that any attractive nuisance on your property is properly protected from young children. The court sees young children as unable to make reasonable assumptions of dangers, unlike adults. For this reason, you could be held liable for any injuries that occur due to an attractive nuisance on your property that you didn’t take reasonable action to mitigate.