Children on Property
Property owners are supposed to make sure their land is in a reasonably safe condition for those who enter it. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If your child has been injured on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for his or her harm. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our Fort Myers premises liability attorneys can guide you through the entire legal process. You can rest assured that we will carefully craft a strategy that is tailored to your situation and that we will vigorously pursue any party responsible for your child’s injuries.
Seeking Compensation for Child Injuries on Property
Premises liability law establishes guidelines for property owners in terms of their duties and obligations to protect children who are on their premises. In general, property owners are immune from liability for injuries suffered by trespassers, unless those injuries were a result of the property owner’s willful or wanton acts. However, there is a significant exception when it comes to children on property.
The doctrine of “attractive nuisance” applies in situations in which a property owner fails to protect a child on the property from a dangerous condition that attracted a child onto the property in the first place. In such a scenario, the property owner may be liable for any resulting harm to the child. The idea is that children are young and inexperienced, so they may not be able to appreciate the risks associated with certain property conditions, such as a swimming pool, a trampoline, broken objects, fountains, ice boxes, abandoned vehicles, or a hot tub. Thus, property owners owe a special duty to young children when their presence on the property can be reasonably anticipated, even if they are trespassing. It is important to note that the doctrine of attractive nuisance only applies to manmade attractions, as opposed to natural attractions such as a pond, lake, or stream.
To establish a claim for attractive nuisance, the following elements must be shown:
- The property owner knew or had reason to know there was a dangerous condition on the property that would be attractive to a child and might induce a child to trespass;
- The property owner knew or should have known that the dangerous condition was one that could cause an unreasonable risk of harm to a child;
- The child, due to his or her age and inexperience, would not be able to appreciate the risks associated with the dangerous condition;
- The burden of getting rid of the dangerous condition would be less than the threat posed to the child; and
- The property owner did not take reasonable care to remove the dangerous condition or guard the child from the risk of harm.
Recoverable damages in attractive nuisance cases may include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and more. As these examples show, they can compensate an injured child for both economic and non-economic forms of harm.
Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Premises Liability Attorney in the Fort Myers Area
Premises liability cases are complex and can become even more complicated when children are involved. If your child has been hurt in an accident on someone else’s property, it is important to consult a skilled slip and fall attorney who can advise you on your options. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our Fort Myers premises liability lawyers are dedicated to holding negligent property owners accountable for the harm that they cause. We also represent injured individuals and families in Naples, Port Charlotte, Lehigh Acres, and Sarasota, among other Florida cities. Call us toll-free at (800) 283-7442 or contact us through our online form to schedule a free consultation.