Property owners in New Jersey should be aware that certain fixtures and appliances can be a magnet for children. Under premises liability law, these are called attractive nuisances. Property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that these objects pose as little of a threat to children as possible. Otherwise, they may be held liable for the injuries that children, even trespassing children, incur on their property.
Construction sites are attractive nuisances
Many children love to explore construction sites, but the result may be falls from elevated heights, encounters with heavy equipment and injuries caused by falling objects. Some construction companies may be immune from the attractive nuisance doctrine, though, as they may show that the cost of minimizing dangers to children would be too much.
Swimming pools and playground equipment
Homeowners need to be especially careful with the swimming pool; it should be surrounded by a high fence and a locked gate. If possible, they should try not to have any playground-like equipment like slides attached to the pool. Generally, structures made to be played on, such as skateboard ramps, jungle gyms and tree houses, count as attractive nuisances.
Farm equipment and abandoned vehicles
Farms are full of dangers to children: tractors, haylofts, silos and so on. Abandoned automobiles count, too, especially if owners neglect to roll up the windows and lock the doors.
A lawyer for your premises liability claim
Perhaps your child was injured on another’s property. You may want a personal injury lawyer to assess your case in light of premises liability law and determine how much you might be eligible for in damages. If the lawyer successfully negotiates a settlement on your behalf, you may be covered for the child’s medical expenses, pain and suffering and any other losses. If negotiations fail, you may consider litigation.