Does your neighbor's property have an attractive nuisance?

If you have children, you may have taken the time to plug electrical outlets, secure cabinet doors and raise breakable items to higher shelves. These simple steps make your home a safer place for a child drawn to items that look enticing but are actually dangerous.

Unfortunately, not everyone takes these steps on their property, and this places innocent children at risk. While your neighbors may feel they do not have to worry about someone else's children, Kentucky laws say otherwise. A property owner may not owe a duty to trespassers to secure any hazardous items, but when the possibility exists that a trespasser may be a child, the duty is very real.

Beautiful danger

Any object on someone's property can be enticing to a child. If that object has the potential to harm or kill a child, it is an attractive nuisance. A property owner who knows the attractive nuisance exists has a responsibility to eliminate the hazard if it is reasonable to do so. Whereas an adult trespassing on someone else's property may have no recourse after suffering injuries, your child may be too young to appreciate the danger.

For example, a swimming pool with no fence can be deadly for a child who only wants to see the glistening water up close. Weather is getting warmer, and your neighbors may be taking the covers off their pools. Those who also neglect to install, or repair, fences may be liable for the injury or death of a child who wanders onto the property, lured by the attractive nuisance. Some other common attractive nuisances include these:

  • Farm equipment or machinery that a property owner can easily store in a shed or barn
  • Construction debris or renovation issues, including open holes and tools workers may leave out
  • Fountains and man-made ponds, although natural bodies of water may not carry the same liability
  • Abandoned cars that are dangerous play places
  • Abandoned appliances where a child can easily and quickly suffocate
  • Cisterns or drainage ditches without covers or fences
  • Play equipment, including skateboard ramps and trampolines

You may take every precaution to supervise your children, but in the blink of an eye, your child may be out of sight. In that time, a child may find allurement in an attractive nuisance that a property owner failed to secure. If your child suffers injuries in such a situation, you may benefit from seeking the advice of an attorney about your legal options.

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