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The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine in New York

Children are curious by nature, and that can be a great asset when it comes to learning, but the same curiosity can put them in dangerous situations. If your child has been injured after wandering onto someone else’s property, you may be able to seek compensation for his or her injuries. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the nuances of New York premises liability law and can apply our knowledge to use in your case. Our firm is passionate about advocating for the rights of the injured, and we will do our best to make sure your rights are protected at every step of the way.

Generally, those who enter another party’s property without permission are called trespassers under the law and given little legal protection if they are injured. There is, however, an exception to this rule when it comes to children, and property owners have some responsibility to a trespasser when that trespasser is a child. The attractive nuisance doctrine protects children injured on another person’s property. Put another way, the attractive nuisance doctrine holds a landowner accountable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by an artificial dangerous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risks and hazards associated with that object or condition. The idea is that property owners should be able to foresee that children may enter the property if certain “attractions” are present, including but not limited to:

  • Swimming pools;
  • Abandoned cars;
  • Playgrounds or jungle gyms;
  • Trampolines;
  • Farm equipment;
  • Discarded appliances;
  • Exposed power lines;
  • Manmade ponds, lakes, and fountains; or
  • Holes in the ground.

Under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, a landowner can be liable for injuries to children if the following conditions are met:  i) the property in question had an artificial object or condition (i.e., a swimming pool); the property owner knew or should have known of the likelihood that children will trespass onto the property; iii) the property owner knew or should have known that the artificial object or condition posed a risk of death or serious injury to children; iv) the children, due to their age, would not be able to recognize or appreciate the dangers associated with the object or condition; v) the benefit to the owner of keeping the object or condition on the property as well as the burden of eliminating the danger was slight compared to the risk it posed to children; and vi) the property owner failed to use reasonable care to remove the danger that the artificial condition posed to children.

Hazardous conditions on property can draw a child onto property and may also result in the child seriously injuring him or herself. If your child was injured on another person’s property, you should reach out to a diligent Syracuse premises liability attorney who understands this area of law. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we know how traumatic and frustrating it can be to deal with your child’s preventable injury, which is why we want to make the process as seamless as possible for you. For more information, call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.

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Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Affecting Syracuse Residents, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, February 9, 2018

Intersection Accidents in Syracuse, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, February 2, 2018

Plastic Surgery Malpractice in Syracuse and Across New York, Syracuse Personal Injury Blog, January 30, 2018

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