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Attractive nuisances: Liability and their impact on children

Owning real estate is the dream of many individuals, but it comes with specific liabilities. One includes to make sure that any attractive nuisances on the property are secured. It's important for homeowners as well as parents to understand a few basic points about liability in these cases.

While most homeowners don't have a duty to secure hazards on their property from adults, children are treated differently. Children don't have the mental capacity to be considered negligent. They are naturally attracted to the attractive nuisance, which looks so appealing that they can't stay away from it. Various things constitute an attractive nuisance, so property owners must evaluate things like swimming pools, swing sets, yard equipment and anything else to determine how likely it is that a child would venture onto the property to touch or play with the items.

What might contribute to an attractive nuisance injury?

In some cases, the issue is that the property owner didn't comply with local laws and building codes. For example, failing to put a fence around a pool can set a property owner up for liability if there is an incident involving a drowning or near-drowning in a swimming pool.

In other cases, the nature of the attractive nuisance makes it unsafe. For example, an unsecured riding lawn mower might look like a fun thing to play on for a child, but if it turns on, disaster can occur.

What options do parents have in these cases?

Any parent with a child who was injured due to an attractive nuisance should review their legal options. Filing a claim for compensation is an attempt to shift the financial responsibility from yourself to the party that holds liability for the incident. The claim can include damages for things like the medical care the child needed, as well as the wages the parent failed to earn because they were caring for the child. Other damages, including those for future expenses related to the injury might also be possible, so the parents should ensure they're reviewing the full scope of options prior to taking action.

Remember, Georgia laws sets specific time limits for personal injury claims. When the matter is a personal injury claim based on a child who was injured by an attractive nuisance, the statue of limitations may be slightly different from the one that applies to other cases, so find out if this is the case and plan accordingly. Once the time limit expires, you won't have any legal recourse.

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