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How is premises liability different for children?

In many areas of the law, exceptions or special accommodations are made for children. It is understood that children are often unable to appreciate certain dangers or to fully understand the consequences of their actions, so when their conduct results in an injury the law will sometimes look to the appropriate adult who could have or should have prevented the injury.

Premises liability is an area of the law that accounts for children in terms of holding them to a lower standard of care when it comes to controlling their behavior. There are situations that occur where children may be attracted onto another person's property and their inability to control their curiosity or to understand the potential dangers does not deter them from exploring.

If your child is drawn onto another's property and suffers an injury, in the eyes of the law the property owner may be liable. Under the doctrine of attractive nuisance, if a piece of property contains an object that would knowingly draw a child's attention and entice them to come onto the property than the owner of that property has a legal duty to take the necessary precautions to protect children who may enter their land or building.

Through this doctrine the law places a special responsibility on the property owner to protect children from hurting themselves. Premises liability and the doctrine of attractive nuisance recognize that the adult property owner is in the best position to prevent a child from suffering an injury, and therefore holds the property owner liable if they fail to do so.

The parent of an injured child who is not familiar with premises liability and the doctrine of attractive nuisance may wrongly believe that they must solely deal with their child's injury. An experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with premises liability law can explain the law to you and how you may be able to obtain compensation for your child's injuries.

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