As a Pennsylvania homeowner, you may believe that you can’t be held liable for any injuries that happen to people who you did not invite to your property. The reality is, homeowners who have an attractive nuisance on their property can be held liable for any injuries that occur to children that enter the property. It’s important to understand what attractive nuisances are and what you can do to protect yourself from liability in the future.
What is an attractive nuisance?
One of the most common causes of premises liability is an attractive nuisance, which is anything on a particular property that attracts the attention of children and exposes them to potential harm. Due to the broad spectrum of this definition, many different property features may fall into this category. Some of the most common include playsets, treehouses, fountains, pools, and even trampolines. All of these property features can attract the attention of children passing by and potentially cause them harm.
Why can you be held liable?
Most people are aware of the fact that they’re not liable for any injuries that happen to trespassers on their property. However, children are not considered trespassers underneath the law. Due to the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, an exception is made for children as they are not considered mentally capable of understanding the dangers involved with various property features.
When it comes to children and attractive nuisances, each state has its own definition of a child. In most states, this law will apply to children under the age of 12 years old. However, each situation is going to be a little bit different depending on what the nuisance was and the individual child that was involved.
As a property owner, it’s important to realize that you could be held liable for any injuries to children who enter your property. It’s a good idea to assess your property for any attractive nuisances and put up safety features to prevent any injuries from happening when you’re not there. If you’re not sure what property features fall into the category of an attractive nuisance, it’s advisable to speak to an attorney to discover which ones are.