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What Is an Attractive Nuisance?
Posted in Personal Injury on August 2, 2023
An attractive nuisance refers to a potentially hazardous object or condition on someone’s property that might attract children, leading them to trespass. Despite their inherent allure to minors, these nuisances pose a risk of serious injuries and even death. While the term itself might sound benign, an attractive nuisance’s legal implications can be profound, especially when a child gets hurt because of it.
Washington Attractive Nuisance Laws
In Washington, attractive nuisance laws fall under the broader umbrella of premises liability. These rules are designed to ensure property owners maintain a safe environment. Generally, if someone is injured on a property because the owner didn’t uphold certain safety standards or rectify evident risks, the owner might be held accountable.
However, there’s a distinct differentiation when it comes to trespassers. While adult trespassers generally cannot file legal claims if they are injured on someone else’s property, an exception exists for children. Washington law acknowledges that children can be enticed by certain hazards and be unaware of the associated dangers. These alluring hazards are known as attractive nuisances.
If a child is lured into trespassing because of an attractive hazard and gets hurt as a result, the property owner could be held liable. Victims and their families could file a legal claim against the owner and recover compensation to pay for medical care, damages to personal property, pain and suffering, and other losses.
What Are Some Examples of Attractive Nuisances?
Attractive nuisances are more common than many people believe. These hazards, although sometimes innocuous to adults, can be irresistible and dangerous to children. If you have any of the following on your property, it is important to take steps to secure the nuisance and prevent potential accidents:
- Unfenced swimming pools
- Abandoned refrigerators or freezers with doors still attached
- Construction equipment left unattended
- Open pits or trenches
- Old machinery or appliances
- Trampolines without protective barriers
Filing a Claim After an Attractive Nuisance Injury
Initiating a claim after an attractive nuisance injury can seem overwhelming, but it’s crucial to ensure that the rights of the injured child are protected. After the accident, take the following steps to gather evidence and seek the help that your family needs:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Ensure your child gets immediate medical care. Apart from addressing your child’s well-being and preventing dangerous complications, this also provides a documented record of the injury.
- Document as Much Evidence as Possible: Take photographs of the scene, especially of the nuisance that led to the injury. These images can serve as compelling evidence to establish the existence of the attractive nuisance.
- Gather Witnesses: Did someone witness the accident? If so, collect his or her contact details. A witness’s account can back up your version of the events.
- Maintain Records: Preserve all related paperwork, from medical records to communication with the property owner or his or her insurer. Give all of these documents to your attorney.
- Contact an Attorney: To discuss your legal options, contact an attorney with experience in attractive nuisance cases. Do not speak with the owner or insurance company before speaking with a lawyer.
Speak to a Washington Premises Liability Attorney
If your child has been harmed by an attractive nuisance, reaching out to a Washington premises liability attorney in Washington is an important step. A lawyer can provide clarity on your legal options, evaluate the strength of your case, and champion your family’s rights, fighting aggressively for your right to fair compensation. Schedule a free legal consultation as soon as possible after the accident to learn more about your next steps.