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Children, trespassing and injuries

It’s natural for homeowners to assume that they’re not responsible for the injuries that someone suffers while trespassing on their property. The common thought is that the person shouldn’t have been there in the first place so, if they got injured, that’s their own problem. 

That’s certainly not how it works in all cases, however. Today, we’ll take a look at one example: The attractive nuisance. This is something that comes into play if children trespass on a property. 

An attractive nuisance is simply something that may draw the attention of a child due to its inherent qualities. The most common example is the swimming pool. Homeowners who have a pool need to know that children may be drawn to it, whether or not they ask permission. 

Say a child who is too young to read walks onto someone’s property while no one is home, falls into a pool, and drowns. That homeowner may say that they put up signs about the danger and/or that they never invited the child to go swimming. That may be true but A) the child could not read the signs and B) the child was likely to go swimming even without permission. The homeowner was responsible for securing the pool against intruders.

Homeowners have to understand the risks that their property poses and take steps to reduce those risks, even for trespassers. For instance, they need to put a fence around the pool so that children can’t access it. If they don’t do enough, they can still be liable, and the child’s parents could sue that individual for financial compensation. 

If you believe that you have a valid claim against a negligent homeowner, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.