The “doctrine of attractive nuisance” varies by state, but generally refers to dangerous unenclosed objects on a property which pose both a lure and hidden danger to children. These can include machinery, swimming pools, and stacks of building materials, power tools, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other airtight units which still have attached doors, while they do not include natural conditions such as lakes or steep hills.
A property owner must create or maintain a harmful object in order to be held legally liable for a resulting injury on his/her property. Liability in these cases is often determined by a few key factors:
– Whether the property owner knew or suspected that children may trespass near the hazard – Whether the hazard poses an “unreasonable risk” of harm to children – Whether the children understood the risks involved – Whether the property owner took reasonable precautions to eliminate the hazard or protect against harm
Many Illinois municipalities have laws which strictly define property owners’ duties to reduce the chances of a child being injured by an attractive nuisance, and there is a variety of steps which can be taken. First, always make sure you are in full compliance with state laws as well as local ordinances, and put away any hazardous equipment which is not in use.
Lock all doors, gates, and fences, and put up “warning” or “no trespassing” signs, if necessary. When you throw an unwanted appliance, make sure the doors are removed and don’t hesitate to inform neighbors of any risks or hazards on your property which may spark the curiosity of children. While these steps may not limit liability 100% of the time, they are certainly the best ways to reduce the risks of accidents and resulting injuries on your property.
If you or a loved one was injured on another person’s property due to negligence, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.