Children in New Haven are naturally curious and many think nothing of entering their neighbor’s property. Children do not have the same understanding of the world that adults do. They may not realize they are trespassing or may not appreciate the dangers present on your property.
An attractive nuisance is a condition or object on your property that children may be especially interested in exploring. The “attractive nuisance” doctrine states that trespassing children are to be treated as “invitees” are on your property, rather than as trespassers, as there is something on your property that has enticed and thus “invited” them in. This means you must use reasonable care to keep your property safe and provide warnings for unsafe conditions you cannot fix.
What is and is not an attractive nuisance?
Common structures such as walls and fences are not considered an attractive nuisance. A hunting (deer) blind, swimming pool or trampoline may be considered an attractive nuisance in certain situations. As a property owner, you need to be aware that children may be enticed by such structures but could be harmed by them if reasonable care is not taken to keep children and other invitees safe.
For example, a swimming pool generally needs to be fenced in in accordance with local regulations so children cannot get in and use it. If you have a dog, you may want to post “beware of dog” signs. If you have a shed or other structure that could be dangerous, it should be locked when not in use so that children cannot get in.
Know your rights and your child’s rights
If your child was injured by an attractive nuisance when exploring another person’s property, you may be left with hefty medical bills, emotional trauma and pain and suffering. If so, you will want to discuss your situation with someone familiar with personal injury law, who can help explain the attractive nuisance doctrine and how it might apply to your situation.