We all remember our days as children when we would get into mischief in one way or another on a relatively regular basis. We did this because we were looking to have some fun and partially because we did not fully understand the consequences of our actions beforehand. Many of us learned the hard way after our actions were discovered by our parents. Unfortunately, many children pay a heavier price than a scolding and punishment when they trespass onto land to interact with something and they are badly injured as a result.
When this happens to children, there are legal options available for the parents of those young people who are badly injured. Many would not think so given the fact that an injured child illegally entered someone else’s property, but there are exceptions to laws that deal with premises liability in Nevada, and this situation loosely describes one of them. In general, property owners are supposed to protect themselves from liability by protecting others from foreseeable harm.
Premises liability law in Nevada states that in order for someone to be able to pursue legal remedies after being injured on someone else’s property, that person needs to have been on that property legally and with either direct or indirect permission. Someone who trespasses on property does not usually have these same legal rights, as the property owner is seen to have not been able to foresee that person’s entry.
However, there is an exception to that trespasser rule that is known in Nevada and around the country as the doctrine of attractive nuisance. This doctrine states that a property owner can still be liable for harm done to a child who was trespassing on his or her land if there was a dangerous condition on that land that was likely to attract children to it. In addition, the property owner would have needed to either know about this dangerous condition or he or she should have known about it and failed to take steps to prevent trespassing children from approaching it.
This may seem like a somewhat obscure situation, but there are many different things that can be found to be an attractive nuisance. Horses or ponies running around on a field that is not properly fenced in could be such an example if a child is injured by one of those animals. Ponds or streams that are not fenced off could be another. The point is that property owners need to recognize situations where children may want to explore things further even though they are dangerous and take steps to prevent that exploration from happening.
Overall, laws will provide children with a bit more leeway in terms of their intent and their mental states, as they simply do not know as much about the world as adults. The attractive nuisance law in Nevada is one such example. If your child was injured on someone else’s property, contact the Las Vegas injury lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.