The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine: What You Need To Know

Posted on July 30, 2021

Children in Utah can be very active and curious. They also like to have fun and they can find fun in many different objects even if the fun they find is not the intended use of the object. Due to their age, their focus may be on the fun that they could have and not necessarily the dangers that may be involved in what they are doing. That is why people need to keep their children away from certain areas of the house when they are young and need to watch them carefully in new situations.

There are situations though when children may go out exploring and find themselves chasing something onto other people’s property. Children may also see objects on other people’s property that looks like something that may be fun to play on or it may simply be a new object to them and want to investigate it. They really should not just go onto other people’s property without permission, but children do not always understand all of the various rules that they need to follow.

Elements of the attractive nuisance doctrine

In these situations, even though the children are considered trespassers, property owners owe children a higher level of care than adult trespassers. Property owners can be liable for children trespassers who injure themselves on the property. This is true only if certain elements are present though. These elements are:

  • There is an artificial condition on the property
  • The property owner knew it could cause serious bodily harm
  • That there was a reason to know children would trespass
  • The children due their age did not understand the potential dangers
  • The cost to protect children from it was reasonable compared to the danger

Property owners in Utah keep many different types of objects on their property and also may complete various construction projects. These objects can be something that children may find interesting and fun, but can also be injured on them as well. If they are injured they may be entitled to compensation from the property owner. Experienced attorneys from Handy and Handy understand these complicated matters and may be able to guide one through the process.