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The attractive nuisance in premises liability

There are a number of ways that a private individual may face a premises liability suit, rather than a business or other impersonal entity. Generally, a court considering a private premises liability suit will look to the degree of negligence present on the part of the defendant, as well as the relationship between the injured party and the defendant. For instance, if an individual is injured on private property, but is not there as a guest of the owner in some recognizable capacity, it is very difficult to press liability charges. There are, however, some exceptions.

One of the most complicated issues that arises for a property owner is when a child is injured on the property. In general, the law looks more leniently on children and puts a greater responsibility on the property owner. A child may be exempt from trespassing charges, and a property owner may become liable for a trespassing child's injuries if the court determines that the property featured an attractive nuisance.

An attractive nuisance is generally considered any feature of a piece of property that might attract a child. Often, but not always, an attractive nuisance provides an opportunity for injury in and of itself. A common example, both theoretically and practically is property that features a well or pile of rubble. Essentially, a court may hold a property owner liable for an injury that a child suffers if the property features some element that may have "lured" a child onto the property.

Each case is different and must be considered on its own merits. If you are facing premises liability charges, an experienced attorney can help you evaluate your situation and plan a strong defense to protect your rights.

Source: Findlaw, "What is Plaintiff Side Premises Liability?," accessed Feb. 08, 2017

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