Without being aware of it, many property owners in New York might have an attractive nuisance or two on their land. These objects draw in kids while also being potentially dangerous. A property owner could be liable if an accident happens, so it is helpful to know what attractive nuisances are and how to keep everyone safe and avoid issues.
An attractive nuisance is something that tempts a child and brings them onto a person's residence or property. It is possible for adults to anticipate when this might occur, so a property owner is expected to take precautions to limit the chances of an accident. Examples of these nuisances include swimming pools, stairs, machinery like lawnmowers or construction equipment, pathways, and animals.
Protecting children from things that could potentially harm them might seem like a tall order. The law does recognize that almost anything could pose some risks, so there are requirements for something to be classified as an attractive nuisance. An attractive nuisance is usually a structure that is maintained and man-made.
Preventative measures are not required to work perfectly to prevent liability. Courts typically want to see that a property owner cared about safety and took some precautions to keep children away. This could mean following any local regulations and using fences or locks to prevent uninvited guests.
Parents may have questions when a child is injured on someone's property and wonder if a property owner is responsible. An attorney might help one with a premises liability claim and may ask questions about how an injury occurred to determine if the conditions for qualifying as an attractive nuisance are met. For example, a lake might not qualify as it is not maintained. However, a fountain could be an attractive nuisance if it is operational and cleaned, decorated or otherwise maintained.