South Carolina Injury Attorneys
What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

An attractive nuisance is what the law refers to an artificial feature on someone’s property that might lure a child into danger. Because children tend to be curious wanderers, they are often tempted to venture into other people’s yards if they see something they think could be exciting or entertaining to interact with. If the object in someone’s yard is a potential hazard, the child could be injured, and the property owner would be liable for the damages.

These laws were originally intended to keep children safe. Part of liability in these cases involves landowners being irresponsible and refusing to take precautions about their attractive nuisance. To be held responsible for a child’s injuries, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • The property owner knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass in the area where a dangerous condition is present
  • The property owner knows or realizes, or should know and realize, that the dangerous condition could cause death or serious injury to trespassing children
  • The children are too young to discover or realize the dangerous condition exists, or they are too young to understand that the condition puts them at risk
  • The benefits gained by leaving the dangerous condition unattended to, or the cost of remedying the situation, are small in comparison to the risk that it poses to children
  • The property owner “fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect the children.”

Courts will apply the above on a case-by-case basis, so one case may determine that a condition is an attractive nuisance, while another case will have a different judgement on the same type of condition. Some attractive nuisances that are particularly common and can cause a multitude of problems include the following:

  • Railroads / Freight cars
  • Swimming pools
  • Construction sites
  • Power lines / high-voltage towers
  • Artificial ponds, lakes, and fountains
  • Discarded appliances
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Farm equipment
  • Holes in the ground
  • Play structures

In many of these cases, common sense would have prevented the accident had the landowners considered the possible consequences of the environment. For example, many children die every year from accidental drowning, so it only stands to reason swimming pools should be surrounded by unclimbable fences. However, in general, courts have ruled that children old enough to scale a fence, climb a tower, or otherwise gain access to a secured area are also old enough to understand the potential danger. In these cases, the children might not get compensation from the property owner.

If your child was severely injured by an attractive nuisance, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our skilled Greenville premises liability attorneys can take a look at your case and offer experienced legal advice on your best course of action.

Contact us at (864) 408-8890 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.


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