Property owners usually are not liable for injuries that trespassers suffer on their premises. After all, you cannot reasonably foresee the danger to a person if you do not know he or she is there. There is one important exception to this rule, however: children who are too young to understand risks. The law that makes property owners responsible for trespassing children is called the attractive nuisance doctrine.
If your child has been injured while trespassing on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for compensation under this doctrine. To learn more, contact the Des Moines attractive nuisance attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233.
When Property Owners are Liable
In order for a property owner to be found responsible for a trespassing child’s injuries, all of the following must apply:
- The property owner knew or should have known that children were likely to trespass. This could be because of something on his or her property that would attract children, such as a swimming pool, or because the property is in an area children often pass through.
- There is something on the property that could clearly be dangerous to children. For example, a property owner should know that something like a trampoline, heavy machinery, or abandoned appliances could severely hurt a child.
- The trespassing child is too young to understand the dangers of the property. This will be determined by the court using reasonable standards for the child’s age.
- The risk to children on the property outweighs any hardships the property owner would face if he removed the dangerous item or took extra steps to make it safer.
- The property owner failed to follow reasonable safety precautions to protect children from the hazard on the property.
It can be very difficult to demonstrate all of these things clearly in a courtroom. The help of an experienced and knowledgeable Des Moines attractive nuisance lawyer is a very important asset in these cases.
If your child has been hurt on the neglected property, you could be compensated for medical bills and more. For more information, call the Des Moines child injury attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233.