Property owners in Nevada are responsible for ensuring the safety of their premises. Typically, this duty of care extends to those who have a right to be there, but the attractive nuisance law in this state also extends the duty of property owners. Nevada property owners have a responsibility to ensure that any dangerous features that could be of interest to a child are adequately secured and cordoned off. Here, we want to discuss the attractive nuisance law in more in-depth so you understand your responsibilities.
What Are Examples of an Attractive Nuisance?
When we examine the attractive nuisance law in Nevada, Nevada Revised Statute 41.515 (NRS 41.515), we can see that property owner are required to take precautionary steps to help prevent foreseeable injuries. If an individual fails to keep their property reasonably safe from wandering or interested children, they could be held responsible for any injury the child sustains on their property.
In order to be held responsible, the following elements should be present:
- The trespasser was a minor
- Because of their age, the child did not realize the risk of entering the area or property
- The condition that caused the injury was artificial (not natural, like a lake or river)
- The property owner knew or should have known that the artificial condition would have been attractive to a child
- The property owner knew or should have known that the artificial condition could cause injury or death to a child
- The property owner failed to take steps to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or prevent a child from trespassing
- The expense and time to eliminate the danger or prevent the child from trespassing were minimal compared to the risk of injury
Nevada’s attractive nuisance law only applies to artificial man-made conditions. This includes swimming pools, trampolines, playground equipment, construction projects, large holes in the ground, mounds of dirt, weapons, equipment or tools, fountains, etc.
There are various ways that property owners can help prevent a child from sustaining injuries due to an attractive nuisance. This typically involves:
- Installing fences with locked gates
- Covering pools with safety covers
- Moving objects away from fences or walls that could be used by children to climb on
- Locking away any hazardous chemicals, tools, or equipment
- Placing flood lights and low visibility areas
- Hiring security guards for extra protection
- Installing alarms or alert devices
- Hanging up warning signs (this may not be appropriate for keeping young children out)
How Does This Affect an Injury Lawsuit?
If a child sustains an injury on another person’s property, even if they were trespassing, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. The family of the injured child could file a lawsuit against the property owner and recover various types of compensation. This includes coverage of all medical expenses related to the incident, lost wages if the parents have to miss work as a result of the injury and the recovery process, pain and suffering damages, scarring and disfigurement damages, and more.
Any parent whose child has been injured should seek assistance from a skilled attorney to discuss their options. An attorney will evaluate the situation to examine whether or not the attractive nuisance laws or other negligence rules apply. Compensation may be available either through an insurance settlement or a personal injury jury verdict if a trial becomes necessary.