Durham Attractive Nuisance Attorney

Property Owners May Be Liable for Injured Child Trespassers

Children are afforded some of the most generous legally-required care by North Carolina premises liability laws—and for good reason. Many children are naturally curious and unable to recognize the risks they may be taking with their actions. For this reason, all states have adopted an “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which places the responsibility on property owners to take adequate precautions to protect features that may cause injuries to children.

However, accidents do happen and if the proper precautions have not been taken around one of these features, a property owner may be liable for compensation. The reputable Durham personal injury attorneys at Twiggs, Strickland & Rabenau have assisted numerous clients throughout the state of with injury claims of all types, including attractive nuisance cases. With over 60 years of combined experience as well as a multitude of awards and accolades for legal practice excellence, our skilled legal professionals can provide you with reputable, effective counsel to help you put forth your case in the most optimal fashion.

Call Twiggs, Strickland & Rabenau at 919.701.8132 today to secure our assistance in fighting for your legally-entitled compensation.

What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

North Carolina follows the Restatement of Torts standard for determining whether a premises owner is liable for an injury as a result of one of their property features. Essentially, if the landowner with a dangerous feature on their property knows that young, unaware children may trespass and they do nothing to fix the problem despite having the ability to do so at reasonable cost, then they could be held liable.

Attractive nuisances can be nearly any property feature, including:

  • Swimming pools
  • Sandboxes
  • Abandoned appliances (ovens, refrigerators, etc.)
  • Abandoned cars
  • Faulty playground equipment
  • Construction sites

If these objects or areas are not properly protected from children and they become injured, parents can initiate a personal injury claim against the property owner. For example, unrepaired fences surrounding construction sites, old lumber piles or a private swimming pool can give rise to a claim. Mitigating these charges with a sign does not always absolve a premises owner of liability, as in many cases children who trespass may be too young to read in the first place.

Are There Exceptions to the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

While it may seem that attractive nuisance laws lean heavily towards safeguarding the rights of children, there are exceptions to the law.

Scenarios in which property owners may not be liable for attractive nuisance injuries:

  • If a child uses specialized equipment to gain access to the property - such as using a ladder to climb over a fence or a tool to break locks.
  • If the property was already well protected and additional measures would be an excessive burden to the owner.

Have a seasoned attorney review your claim to help you decide whether you have a strong case to pursue legal compensation.

If you believe you may have a claim due to an attractive nuisance injury, contact our attorneys at Twiggs, Strickland & Rabenau today and request a initial case evaluation.