What Is An Attractive Nuisance? Definition & Dangers to Children

attractive nuisance

What Is An Attractive Nuisance? Definition & Dangers to Children

An attractive nuisance doctrine states that property owners have a special duty of care to keep their property safe for curious children. However, California no longer recognizes the nuisance doctrine. Before 1970, California had the active nuisance doctrine.

Under the doctrine, homeowners in California could be liable for injuries to child trespassers because of the luring condition. However, the case of Beard v. Atchison removed the active nuisance doctrine from California Law.

What is An Attractive Nuisance? Key Terms to Know

There are several essential terms you need to understand in the discussion of attractive nuisance. We detail them below.

Premises Liability

In all states, Premises Liability holds a property owner liable for the damages that occurred on his property. The owner of the property is responsible for maintaining his property in a safe environment and without dangerous conditions. The concept of premises liability is based on negligence under Civil Code 1714. The law provides:

(a) Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.

Common premises that may give rise to premises liability lawsuits are:

  • Animal and Dog Bites
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Dangerous Property
  • Negligent or Inadequate Security
  • Swimming Pool Injury
  • Inadequate Maintenance
  • Children on Property
  • Retail Store Liability
  • Restaurant Liability

In evaluating whether a land owner is liable for an attractive nuisance a court may weigh:

  1. Whether the land owner knew or had reason to know that children could trespass near the hazard;
  2. The type of hazard on the property and whether the hazard poses an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to children;
  3. Whether the children, due to their youth, could understand the risk or physical harm involved;
  4. The importance to the landowner of maintaining the hazardous condition;
  5. How the burden of eliminating the danger to children compares to the risk of harm involved; and
  6. Whether the landowner took reasonable precautions or exercised reasonable care to eliminate the defective condition or hazard and to protect the children from harm.

Typical attractive nuisances that carry potential danger and can make a homeowner responsible for injuries include:

  • Swimming pools and water features (including above-ground pools)
  • Trampolines
  • Playground equipment
  • Treehouses
  • Fountains
  • Machinery (lawnmowers, gasoline pumps, etc.)
  • Wells
  • Tunnels
  • Dangerous animals
  • Paths and stairs
  • Landscaping and artificial landscaping features
  • Scaffolding
  • Ladders
  • Rooftop
  • Broken gates or safety gates
  • Construction equipment and equipment racks
  • Other enticing objects that carry inherent risks

Child Injury

Children under 18 years old are not allowed to file lawsuits in California. Hence, the parents or legal guardians of the children shall file a personal injury claim on their behalf. In this case, the statute of limitations must be taken into consideration when filing a complaint.

Accidents may vary, and so do the Statute of Limitations. The personal injury cases in California differ since a child may suffer injuries in a car, truck, bike, pedestrian, slip and fall, dog bite, daycare, or other personal injury accident.

The statute of limitations to sue is different if the victim is under 18 years old.

  • The deadline is stopped until the child turns 18 years old.
  • The child would have two years from their 18th birthday to file their personal injury lawsuit.

Despite the allotted time before the period to sue expires, you should still seek the assistance of a child injury lawyer in California to maximize the claim and to build a stronger suit against the negligent party. In addition, failure to file a lawsuit in the given period shall provide a chance for the negligent party to file a motion to dismiss the case.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies as a result of the fault of another including:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Intentional acts
  • Negligence-based incidents

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim In California?

According to California’s wrongful death statute, the following people are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state’s civil courts:

  • Decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Decedent’s surviving children
  • Grandchildren of any deceased child of the decedent
  • If there is no surviving person in the deceased person’s line of descent, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession”; that can include the deceased person’s parents, or the deceased person’s siblings, depending on who is living at the time of the deceased person’s death.

In addition to the above-identified individuals, the following people can also bring a wrongful death lawsuit in California if they can show they were financially dependent on the deceased:

  • Decedent’s “putative spouse”
  • Children of the decedent’s putative spouse
  • Deceased person’s stepchildren
  • Deceased person’s parents
  • Legal guardians of the decedent if the parents are deceased

Wrongful death claims must be filed within the statute of limitations.

In California, the statute of limitations that applies to a wrongful death lawsuit sets a filing deadline of two years from the date of the decedent’s death. If the case is not initiated in the state’s civil court system within two years, the family will lose the right to file it at all.

Award-Winning Child Injury Lawyer in California

At Farahi Law Firm, we will help you get the settlement that you deserve. Adjusters will do doubt employ several tricks to lower the value of your claims. Do not worry because we have award-winning lawyers who will fight aggressively on your behalf.

Contact our bilingual team — we speak English and Spanish — and we will guide you through the process from the start until you settle your claims.

Our personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for hundreds of accident victims in California. Let us fight for you.Call today for a free consultation. No fees unless we win.