Premises Liability for Child Trespassers
Are Property Owners Liable if a Child Trespasses Then Gets Injured on Their Property?
If an individual is injured on your property because of your negligence and failure to keep the property safe from harm, you could be held liable. An example could be your friend slipping and falling on a wet floor in your kitchen and getting bruised from it. They will have the authority to file a claim against you if they wish to do so. However, in some cases, not all injuries will incur liability. West Coast Trial Lawyers is here to help.
When it comes to children, it could be a different story. If you are supervising children playing in your property and one of them happens to get injured, you may be held liable for your lack of proper supervision. The parent or guardian who is dropping their child off at your home is relying on you to make sure that they are kept safe.
On the other hand, if you barricade your property with fencing or locked gates and a child manages to trespass over it along with getting injured on your premises, you will not be held liable for the damages.
Children may tend to make attempts at trespassing if they notice an attractive nuisance on your property. It could be a basketball court, pool, or trampolines that could attract a child into going on your property. These are the reasons why it is important for individuals to have signs, fences, and gates surrounding their homes to avoid having a child hurt themselves when trespassing.
Identifying an Attractive Nuisance
An attractive nuisance is something that compels children into walking on another individual’s property. However, courts may create limitations by having requirements for the objects to be man-made, or by making it mandatory for you to control the nuisance in order for you to be held liable.
Basically, lakes or ponds do not fall under the category of attractive nuisance. Additionally, courts are aware of children hurting themselves doing a large variety of activities. Thus an assumption is made that children should have an idea about what will put them in danger to the point where they are badly injured or harmed.
Examples of Attractive Nuisances
Here are examples of what would fall under the category of attractive nuisances. These include, but are not limited to:
- Water – Swimming pools.
- Playground equipment – Slides, swing set, or trampolines.
- Basketball court – Basketball and basketball hoop.
- Machinery equipment – Lawnmowers.
- Weapons – Knives or guns.
- Animals – Dog, cat, or bird.
- Toys – Floaties, frisbee, or a hula hoop.
- Stairs or rooftops.
Protecting Yourself From Liability
Take as much precaution as possible to protect yourself from premises liability accidents. Make sure that you have signs, fences, or gates as warnings for children not to trespass on your property. Courts will enforce consequences on individuals who fail to make an effort in creating a safe environment for themselves and their neighborhood.
Put your common sense to use when you notice children showing interest in something that you may have at your house. Act quickly and create a barrier or sign to give them the idea that they are not allowed to step foot on your property without your approval. You may also get additional help from your insurance agent to get an idea of what objects fall under the attractive nuisance along with providing helpful tips to protect yourself.
The last important action you should take is reporting any suspicious behavior from children in your area to local authorities. You may also help out another property owner by notifying them about a child potentially making an attempt at trespassing their premises.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award is known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact, were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If someone was hurt as a result of a premises liability accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation for their losses. Experienced premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always available to answer any questions or concerns regarding premises liability claims. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected]