Child Injuries on Property
Children may be particularly susceptible to accidents while visiting property with which they are not familiar. They are often less careful than adults, as well as unaware of the harm that may befall them in certain situations, such as around water or in an area undergoing construction. In addition, child trespassers are often given special treatment under Tennessee law, which imposes stricter duties on property owners than in situations concerning adult trespassers. The Nashville premises liability lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can help families whose children have been hurt on someone else’s property in pursuing proper legal action against any parties that may have been responsible.Pursuing Compensation for Child Injuries on Property
Generally, adults are not entitled to significant protection when entering another party’s property without permission. However, under Tennessee law, a property’s possessor, which includes its owner, operator, renter, or another occupant, may be liable for the injury or death of a trespassing child under certain circumstances. Pursuant to the statute, liability exists under the following conditions:
- A dangerous, artificially created hazard existed on the premises that the owner knew or should have known would pose a risk of injury to children;
- The owner knew or should have known that children would likely trespass because of the dangerous condition;
- The dangerous condition was not reasonably apparent to the child, considering the child’s age or ability to comprehend the danger;
- The danger of the hazard was not outweighed by its utility to the property’s owner; and
- The owner failed to use reasonable care to repair the danger or protect children from it.
These five elements make up the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which is used to determine liability following a child’s injury on another party’s property. Some of the most common examples are associated with swimming pool accidents. Swimming pools that do not have adequate fencing or other barriers for entry are often considered attractive nuisances with regard to a young child, who is likely unaware of the dangers associated with drowning, falls, and other serious accidents that may happen in or near the water. The “balancing test” used in the fourth element of this type of claim, which weighs the burden on an owner to prevent the danger against the utility of a swimming pool, is often determined in favor of an injured victim. Once liability is shown, a victim may recover compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and damages related to pain and suffering, among other costs and forms of harm.Consult a Nashville Lawyer for Your Premises Liability Claim
Children are often unable to protect themselves from what may seem like obvious dangers to an adult. As a result, adults must take reasonable steps to ensure that their properties are safe spaces. When these steps are not taken, children may suffer significant harm that may sometimes even be fatal. The Nashville premises liability attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard are ready to assist families who are coping with a child’s injury or loss. We offer compassionate and zealous legal representation to people throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, including in Franklin, East Nashville, Hermitage, and Brentwood, among other communities. Call us at 615-800-7096 or contact us online to discuss your legal options with an injury attorney.