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Florida’s Attractive Nuisance Doctrine for Child Injury Claims

Property owners generally have a responsibility to protect guests from injuries on their premises due to unsafe or defective conditions. Liability cases are based on a property owner’s negligence. A person or organization with an ownership interest in a property usually has immunity from premises liability when trespassers sustain injuries or death. An exception is a gross negligence claim or intentional misconduct by the property owner that is the proximate cause of an injury or death. In the State of Florida, when minor children are involved, property owners have a duty to provide safeguards for the presence of children, whether they are guests or trespassers.

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine is based on the theory that minor children lack the capacity and judgment to comprehend risks. Children are curious by nature. They learn by exploring their environment with no awareness of inherent dangers. When a minor child enters a property uninvited, the property owner runs the risk of a premises liability claim if there are items on the land that may invite danger.

 

 Examples of items that capture the curiosity and attention of minor children are:

 

  • Pools, slippery decks, water slides
  • Airtight containers such as appliances
  • Trampolines
  • Ladders
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Machinery
  • Construction sites
  • Exposed power lines
  • Holes in the ground

 

There is Nothing More Important than the Safety of a Child

Property owners have a duty to provide safeguards against injuries or death. For example, the highest rates of pool accidents and drowning by children in the nation occur in Florida, as reported by the Florida Department of Health. Consequently, Florida Statute 514.0315 and 515.27 legislation requires that fencing and gates be present and locked to deter accidents. Appliances and airtight containers on a property must have the doors removed to prevent a curious child from being trapped with deadly consequences. Warning signs and notifying surrounding parents in a neighborhood of potential hazards on a property can reduce serious mishaps. It is the property owner’s responsibility to create a safe environment and comply with all state and local ordinances.

There are specific elements needed for the plaintiff to prove negligence against a property owner for a child’s injury or death. The landowner may be liable for damages if they know of dangerous conditions that exist on their land. There must be corroborating evidence that the injured child cannot comprehend the risk based on their age, maturity level, and intelligence. Proof is needed to substantiate that a hazardous condition was left exposed, unguarded, and would likely attract minor children. Therefore, the property owner failed to act with reasonable care to protect the child from harm and damages. Compensation is awarded for medical bills, costs of rehabilitation, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, lost wages for parents, and funeral costs.

 

 King Law Firm is Committed to the Legal Needs of Our Clients

Personal injury claims are complicated. They are particularly tragic for parents dealing with the emotional pain and trauma of a child’s preventable injury. We are a dedicated and compassionate law firm that fiercely protects the rights of our clients. We believe in holding persons accountable for their actions. Our attorneys, legal staff, and investigators are experienced and have proven results in personal injury claims.

If your child has been injured due to another’s negligence, contact the King Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys. Our office is located in Ocala, Florida, and we represent clients throughout Ocala and the surrounding areas. Call now for a free consultation at 352-306-8548.

 

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