Children have a natural curiosity and tendency for playfulness that are necessary for exploration and learning, but which can contribute to children finding themselves in situations that are dangerous. Property owners in Georgia should be aware that a person’s property can have objects that can entice the children to venture onto the property and that can hold hidden dangers. They should also be mindful that if these objects also present some form of danger to the children, they are legally bound under the attractive nuisance doctrine to take the necessary steps to protect children who may wander onto the property.
There are three elements of the attractive nuisance doctrine. There is no expectation under the law for children to be able to fully comprehend that hazards they may encounter. The law attaches a special responsibility on property owners to prevent harm to children if the property owners believe that the children may access their property. Property owners who fail to fulfill their responsibility regarding protecting children on their property may be held liable for the injuries incurred by the children.
Attractive nuisances are things that are interesting enough to compel a child to go onto the property of another person. The majority of courts tend to significantly limit this definition of what qualifies as an attractive nuisance. For example, in some jurisdictions, the attractive nuisance must be man-made and require maintenance by the property owner in order for the owner to be held liable.
A personal injury attorney may pursue financial damages against a property owner under certain provisions of premises liability law, such as the attractive nuisance doctrine, for injuries sustained by children who ventured onto the property. Financial compensation may be pursued for not providing reasonable protection for children from the potentially dangerous conditions on the property.