Swimming pools, play equipment, and treehouses are inherently attractive to children, who may also be too young to understand the legal principle of trespassing. Because many of these features are also inherently dangerous, the law considers them “attractive nuisances,” and provides additional protection to children who may wander onto the property. In many cases, a personal injury attorney can help family members claim compensation for their child’s injuries, regardless of whether they had a right to be there.
Understanding Attractive Nuisance Laws
What Is an Attractive Nuisance?
An attractive nuisance is any feature or condition of the property that may be especially dangerous to children. The most common examples are hot tubs and swimming pools, into which small children can easily fall and drown, but unsecured machinery and decrepit, abandoned buildings may also qualify.
The Responsibility of the Property Owner
Many states, including Wisconsin, require property owners to take reasonable safety measures if they have dangerous features that may attract children. For instance, backyard swimming pools must generally be fenced in, with secure gates that children can’t easily open. Similarly, power tools or heavy equipment should be safely stored when not in use or kept in a fenced-in area where children are less likely to hurt themselves.
When Property Owners Can Be Held Liable
In Wisconsin, property owners are responsible for any foreseeable accident that occurs if they knew about the condition and that children were likely to trespass on the property. However, in some cases, failing to understand or consider the risks can also be considered a form of negligence, so ignorance is not always a valid defense. Because these statutes are complex, proving liability often requires the expertise of a skilled personal injury attorney.
If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, the personal injury attorneys at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC will help you achieve justice. We have over 20 years of experience helping victims throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, and together we’ll strive to provide the aggressive representation your family deserves. Visit us online for more on how we can help or call (877) 784-1230 to consult with a personal injury attorney today.