An attractive nuisance is something that is on your property that attracts the attention of children but is potentially harmful. Georgia’s attractive nuisance laws are designed to keep children safe even if they are trespassing on your land.
Homeowner liability can be reduced if steps are taken to avoid children having access to dangerous items. Placing a fence, signs, security system and other protective measures demonstrate that the homeowner has done everything possible to reduce the risk to neighborhood children.
Attractive nuisances that are not usually liable
To be liable for an attractive nuisance it is usually something that is maintained. The following are non-maintained attractive nuisances:
- Natural bodies of water: Lakes, rivers and ponds
- Natural topographical features: Hills, cliffs, trees, ravines, sinkholes, etc.
- Other hazards: Carbon monoxide poisoning, smoke inhalation, choking hazards, poison, etc.
- Animals: Fenced or leashed animals, as well as wild animals on your property
- Heat-related items: Hot water, fire, etc.
These types of hazards are attractive nuisances, but because they are not maintained, they usually do not result in liability.
Attractive nuisances that a homeowner can be liable for
The following are maintained items that could leave a homeowner responsible if a child gets hurt:
- Entertainment objects: Swimming pools, tree houses, trampolines, etc.
- Property features: Wells, tunnels, paths, landscaping, broken gates, etc.
- Machinery: Lawnmowers, pumps, equipment, etc.
- Climbing objects: Stairs, ladders, rooftops, scaffolding, etc.
When a maintained object on a property can attract children, and a property owner has done nothing to secure or prevent the item from causing harm to children, the end result is premise liability in the form of an attractive nuisance.
If you haven’t yet considered the possibility of liability from an attractive nuisance on your property, now is a good time to do so.