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What is an "attractive nuisance"?

In New York and other cities across the nation, residents and visitors are compelled to enter various properties based on different factors. It is not only the purpose of the property, such as a store, restaurant or place of service, it is also what the outside looks like that brings people in. Much like advertisements and signs bring in adults to certain properties, certain factors can attract children to properties as well. In some cases, it is dangerous factors or hidden dangers that cause children to enter certain properties, which could be classified as attractive nuisances.

What is an "attractive nuisance"? In simple terms, this is considered to be something on a property that is interesting enough to entice a child to enter the property of another. This is a fairly broad definition. An attractive nuisance could be anything from something that is man-made, such as a pond, to something that is not well maintained, such as an old playground set. If something could be visually appealing to a child or cause a child to want to touch or play with it, this could be considered an attractive nuisance.

An attractive nuisance could result in a serious injury to a child. It could be the cause of a fall, trip, cut or even burn. Common attractive nuisances include swimming pools, fountains, machinery such as lawnmowers, wells, tunnels, animals considered to be dangerous, paths and stairs.

When it comes to children and attractive nuisances, duty and liability differs when compared to adults injured on the property of another. Property owners are expected to put forth effort to childproof their property when such factors exist on their property. Taking no action or steps at all to prevent injury could prove to be negligence and lead to liability.

No matter the age of a person, suffering an injury due to an accident caused on the property of another can be serious. This is where a premises liability action may be beneficial. This civil action not only seeks to hold a negligent property owner accountable, but it also helps the injured party recover compensation for the losses and damages suffered.

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