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What does the attractive nuisance doctrine mean?

If you are a parent, you probably understand how the curiosity of children can sometimes get them into trouble. Perhaps your child has touched a hot stove or climbed onto an unsafe surface in your home. Even though you and other parents in the Knoxville region likely strive to teach your kids about safety, curiosity can still place them in hazardous situations. This is especially the case as children grow older and begin to explore their neighborhoods.

The attractive nuisance doctrine may come into play if your child suffers a personal injury on another person's property. The doctrine recognizes that children might be attracted to certain place or objects that could injure them. As such, it is a property owner's duty to ensure attractive nuisances remain secure so that curious children cannot reach them.

For example, if a property owner has a swimming pool that is known to attract children, he or she should take measures to keep children away from the pool. Other common attractive nuisances may include:

  • Tunnels
  • Wells
  • Pathways
  • Animals
  • Machinery
  • Stairways

Of course, parents should consistently teach their kids not to trespass on another person's property. However, the doctrine can provide a legal solution if a neighbor refuses to secure a personal injury hazard and a child is injured.

Your best course of action is to seek out a legal opinion if you believe an attractive nuisance lured your injured child to danger. A Tennessee personal injury attorney will look at your case with an objective eye and inform you about all of your available options.

Source: FindLaw, "Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?," accessed Jan. 04, 2018

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