Since children are curious and playful, they often get in dangerous situations; and with their inability to fully comprehend the dangers they may face, these dangerous situations can result in serious injury or even death.
Today, we invited our Los Angeles premises liability attorney at the Compass Law Group, PC to discuss the duty and liability of an owner or occupier of property to children.
California premises liability laws recognize that children – regardless of their status, an invitee, licensee, or trespasser – should be given a greater degree of care than adults on properties. Generally, the degree of care given to children by an owner or occupier of property is proportional to children’s ability to comprehend the dangers and foresee hazardous situations that he or she may face on someone else’s property.
Attractive nuisance, children, and premises liability
A premises liability lawsuit involving children is very different from a lawsuit that involves adults, as the traditional and ordinary rules that apply to landowners and homeowners are modified by the doctrine of attractive nuisance, something that applies in cases where a child was injured or died at someone else’s property.
The theory of attractive nuisance makes an owner of property liable for any physical harm to children regardless of their status, trespasser, licensee, or invitee.
Premises liability and trespassing children
Under the theory of attractive nuisance, a landowner will be held liable for death of or injury to children if all of the following conditions are met:
- The landowner was aware or should have been aware of the dangerous condition in question;
- The landowner had reasons to believe or had knowledge that children were likely to trespass (enter the premises without permission);
- The landowner had knowledge or should have known that the dangerous condition posed an unreasonable risk of serious physical harm or death to trespassing children;
- The trespassing children, because of their young age, were incapable of comprehending the dangers, risks and hazards of the condition;
- The burden of eliminating the dangerous condition on the part of the landowner was insignificant compared to the risks of injury or death of children;
- The landowner failed to protect children through exercising reasonable care and/or adhering to safety regulations established by California premises liability laws.
Who is liable for your child’s injuries?
The duties and liability of landowners to licensee children on their property are slightly different. Unlike liability to trespassing children, an owner of the property will be held liable for any harm inflicted on a licensee as long as that harm was caused by natural and artificial conditions on his/her property.
Similar to a landowner’s liabilities to trespassing children, a landowner in Los Angeles and all across California is also liable to an invitee or licensee for any physical harm caused by a hazardous condition on the land. However, there is an exception to the general rule, says our Los Angeles premises liability attorney at the Compass Law Group, PC.
If the child’s conduct was against the law when on a landowner’s property, and the child suffered injuries as a direct result of his/her serious violation of the law, the landowner will not be held liable for the injuries.
If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, do not hesitate to contact our best premises liability attorneys in California. Consult with our lawyers at the Compass Law Group, PC by calling our offices at 800-602-4010 or fill out this contact form.