In Maryland, property owners have certain obligations to maintain a safe environment to ensure the safety of the people who enter their premises. This includes taking reasonable measures to repair dangerous conditions to prevent serious accidents and injuries. However, property owners’ obligations are even greater when a property has an attractive nuisance. If your child has been harmed due to an attractive nuisance on someone else’s property, it is in your best interest to contact a trusted Prince George’s County Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer who can help hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Please continue reading to learn about attractive nuisances and how they can impact your premises liability claim.
What are attractive nuisances?
An attractive nuisance is a legal doctrine that holds property owners responsible for creating conditions that attract children to their property and then fail to exercise reasonable care to ensure their safety. An attractive nuisance is something on a property that is inviting to children but can cause injury. Many different types of artificial conditions are classified as attractive nuisances. The following include but are not limited to some examples:
- Swimming pools
- Playground equipment
- Construction projects
- Landscaping equipment
- Old vehicles
- Water features (fountains or artificial ponds)
- Dangerous animals
The object must be artificial for an artificial condition to be classified as an attractive nuisance. It is natural, meaning it has been added to the land. Essentially, it is an item that would entice a child to trespass onto a property to explore it.
Nevertheless, property owners are not liable for non-maintained attractive nuisances or apparent dangers. The court recognizes that children can become injured very easily on virtually anything. As such, it is presumed that children are aware of specific hazards. Therefore, property owners must know local and state statutes to ensure their property is kept up to code and protect themselves against liability.
To ensure children are safe from potential dangers on your property, property owners should take reasonable steps such as building a fence, installing an alarm system, owning a first-aid kit, inspecting areas for slip-and-fall hazards, and storing pool chemicals safely. These precautions can help property owners protect themselves from possible liability.
Are children on my property trespassing in Maryland?
In Maryland, visitors to a property are usually classified into three different categories. Invitees are individuals invited onto a premises for the property owner’s benefit. Licensees are individuals invited onto a premises for the benefit of the invitee and property owner. Trespassers are individuals who come onto a property uninvited. Invitees are entitled to the most protection under the law, while trespassers are entitled to the least protection.
Children are naturally curious and more likely to explore their surroundings. As such, they may see an attractive nuisance on someone else’s property, causing them to trespass to examine the object. Under the law, children are entitled to the same protection as invitees as they do not comprehend the risks of trespassing to interact with an attractive nuisance. Therefore, if a child trespasses onto a property due to an attractive nuisance, the property owner can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a direct result of their negligence.
If your child has been injured due to an attractive nuisance, contact Timian & Fawcett, LLC today. Our dedicated lawyers are prepared to help you fight for the just compensation you may be entitled to.