In California, landowners have a legal duty to ensure their property is safe for guests. When property owners fail to acknowledge and repair potential hazards that they were aware of, or should have been aware of, victims who are injured have a right to seek compensation for their damages. Even if the injured party was not invited onto the property, therefore trespassing, the owner still may have liability if their actions amounted to negligence. Whether or not a property owner is liable for the injured party’s damages will hinge on whether or not the owner acted with reasonable care in relation to the foreseeability of a risk.
ATTRACTIVE NUISANCES AND PREMISES LIABILITY
Generally, in California the law does not require that an individual be an invited guest in order for them to invoke property owner liability when they are injured on another’s property. This extends to children who suffer an injury on a property that they technically have trespassed on. This is particularly common when there is an attractive nuisance.
An attractive nuisance is a condition on a person’s property which may attract children that are unable to appreciate the inherent danger of the condition. These objects, such as swimming pools, trampolines, man-made ponds, tractors and other equipment, can look enticing to children who may not comprehend the potential treat to safety these items pose. Therefore, even when a child trespasses, if they are injured or killed because of an attractive nuisance, the property owner may be held liable.
PROVING PROPERTY OWNER LIABILITY
In order to invoke property owner liability when a child has been injured due to an attractive nuisance, it is necessary to prove that the owner of the property failed to use reasonable care in keeping their property safe in relation to the foreseeability of risk.
The following factors may be helpful in proving liability:
- If the property owner knew or should have known that it was likely for a child to trespass onto the property.
- If the property owner was aware or should have been aware of a hazardous condition and the associated risk it would create for individuals, such as children, on the property.
- Whether or not the injured child should have understood the risks associated with the hazardous condition.
- If the owner of the property could have reasonably fixed the hazardous condition.
- That the burden that would be placed on the property owner to eliminate the risk is minor compared to the potential risk posed to children who may enter the property.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY TODAY
If you or your child has suffered an injury on another’s property due to the owner’s negligence, contact an experienced attorney at Silva Injury Law today for a free consultation. An attorney will work with you to help you understand the elements involved in your case, whether or not you have a potential claim, and assist you in investigating and building your case.