Hey Martha Stewart, Keeping your Property “Unappealing” can be a “Good Thing”

by | Aug 4, 2011 | Farrell Backlund, Homeowners Insurance

Is your backyard tempting children to risky situations?

According to the legal dictionary at www.dictionary.law.com, the attractive nuisance doctrine is defined as a legal doctrine which makes a homeowner  negligent for leaving a piece of equipment or other condition on their property which would be both attractive and dangerous to curious children. The doctrine is designed to hold landowners liable for injuries caused by abandoned cars or tractors, piles of lumber or sand, open pits, trampolines, and swimming pools. However, it can be applied to virtually anything on the property of the landowner.

It’s finally summer and we enjoy spending time outdoors, we plant trees and  flowers, trim, weed, water and expend endless hours creating our backyard oasis but we need to be aware of the potential dangers lurking in our back yard to trespassers- particularly younger intruders.

While most of us are familiar with more of the common hazards and potential liabilities on our properties such as swimming pools and trampolines, it is advisable to take a good look around for some less obvious exposures that may be enticing to a child.

 What tools or equipment has accumulated around your yard?  Lawn mower? Gardening Shears? Saw? Building materials such as lumber, brick, etc?  These are just some of the items that could peak a child’s curiosity and subsequently cause injury or death.  Becoming aware of the potential dangers on your property is an important part of homeownership.  Some quick and simple remedies such as removing risky items, taking them out of view, locking up or fencing the dangerous area or objects will help make your property safer and can help prevent a lawsuit. 

A Homeowner should always inform their insurance agent if they own a swimming pool, trampoline, or other obvious “attractive nuisance.”  Once the homeowner has notified their insurance carrier, they have done their duty.  If there is a questionable situation or scenario, the agent can be helpful by providing guidelines to follow to be sure the homeowner does not step outside the boundaries of the insurance contract.

See the link below for a brief legal synopsis on what classifies as an attractive nuisance and ways to reduce your exposures.  Please note the information and views contained within the website below does not in any way represent Farrell Backlund or its affiliates.



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