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What does “attractive nuisance” mean to homeowners?

Posted in Our Blog,Wrongful death on July 14, 2018

You may have a swimming pool in your yard, as well as a riding lawnmower that you don’t give a second thought to when you’re not using it. This is your personal property, and if anyone sneaks into your yard to swim or play with your power tools, they are trespassing. Why should it be your responsibility to make something on your property safe for people who shouldn’t be there? It is important for you and other Louisiana residents to understand how attractive nuisance laws exist to protect children.

As you know, children do not always follow the rules, even when it comes to trespassing on someone else’s property. They may be too young to fully understand that they shouldn’t climb on that fun-looking riding mower, or they might think their friends’ suggestion to take a dip in your pool while you’re out of town is a great idea. As you also realize, swimming pools and heavy equipment can be dangerous for children.

How can you reduce the chances of a child getting hurt on your property and you being held responsible? According to FindLaw, attractive nuisance law requires property owners to take reasonable measures to safeguard something in their yard that may attract curious children. You would be protecting yourself from legal action, as well as protecting the children in your neighborhood, by having a locked fence around your yard or pool and keeping the keys to your riding mower on your personal keychain or locking your equipment in a shed.

When you are conscientious of potential dangers on your property, you may avoid legal action. Along the same lines, you may be entitled to compensation if your neighbor did not observe an attractive nuisance law and your child was harmed. This information is meant to educate you, but it should not replace the advice of an attorney.