What Homeowners Need to Know About the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that they can be held liable if a trespasser is injured while on their property without consent. If you have a home with a pool or a trampoline, you can be sued under an ordinance called the “attractive nuisance doctrine” if a child stumbles onto your property and is injured.
The attractive nuisance doctrine is an element of tort law that states that a home or property owner may be held legally responsible for any injuries that a child incurs on their property, if it can be assumed that the child was drawn to enter the property after seeing an unsecured object that is likely to cause harm.
The term “child” is not defined by age under New Jersey law; the court determines on a case-by-case basis whether or not the child who was injured is old enough to understand the dangers associated with the attractive nuisance. Some of the most common attractive nuisances include abandoned cars, large piles of sand or dirt, swimming pools, and trampolines.
You can mitigate your risk of being held liable for injuries on your property by taking reasonable steps to prevent children from entering or being injured on your property. For example, a swimming pool can be a very attractive nuisance for a toddler. If a toddler wanders into your backyard, falls into your pool and is hurt, you may be held responsible, even if you were not present when the incident occurred and you did not give the child permission to use the pool.
However, if you installed an aluminum fence in Howell, NJ around your pool that meets state standards, you have exercised reasonable care in securing your home and are less likely to be found liable if a child somehow manages to break into your pool and is injured.
Fencing companies in Howell, NJ like GMX Fencing can help you defend your property from trespassers. Give us a call today at 732-410-6698 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.