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What are attractive nuisances and why do they matter?

When you live in a neighborhood that is full of children, you are likely going to see the children running here and there during the day. While most children will be supervised, there is a chance that some won't be. Those children are part of the reason why homeowners should make sure that there aren't any attractive nuisances on their property.

What is an attractive nuisance?

An attractive nuisance is something that could catch the attention of a curious child in such a way that the child simply couldn't help but to investigate. Generally, these attractive nuisances would have to require maintenance and be manmade. Wells, animals, lawn equipment and swimming pools could be considered attractive nuisances. Lakes, rivers and ponds aren't likely to be considered attractive nuisances.

Aren't children supposed to understand the dangers that are present?

Courts usually assume that children understand some dangers, but not all dangers. The maturity of the child might be a factor in this part of the case. Just because a child might understand the dangers doesn't mean that property owners are in the clear. Property owners have a duty to prevent harm from occurring to children if they have reason to believe that children might venture onto their property.

When a child is harmed by an attractive nuisance, the parents might decide to pursue legal action. This can be a very complex undertaking because of the various elements that are likely going to be present in the case. Knowing how Rhode Island law views attractive nuisances might be a good starting point if you think you would like to seek compensation based on this doctrine.

Source: FindLaw, "Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?," accessed Sep. 07, 2016

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