Colorado’s Premises Liability Act governs all cases in which a person is injured on someone’s property. The law divides plaintiffs into three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. While a landowner’s duty to protect guests and customers is substantial, it’s a different story when it comes to trespassers. A landowner’s duty to protect a trespasser is minimal; they are only liable for injuries caused by their own willful or intention acts.
However, there are exceptions when it comes to children. According to the attractive nuisance doctrine, a landowner may be held liable if a child trespassing is injured on their property if the injury is caused by a hazardous condition or object that is likely to attract a child. All five of the following criteria must be met in order to hold a landowner responsible for the child’s injury:
- The landowner knows or should know that children are likely to trespass on their property.
- The condition or object on the property has the potential to cause serious harm or death to children.
- The children involved are too young to understand the risk of the hazardous condition or object.
- The cost required to fix the condition is minimal compared with the risk to children.
- The landowner fails to take reasonable steps to get rid of the danger posed by the condition or object.
For example, if you own a pool, you may be liable for an accident even if someone sneaks into your pool without your consent. In order to reduce the risk and possibility of a lawsuit a landowner can build a fence around the pool that makes it hard to climb for young children, keep rescue items in the pool area, remove all pool toys or think about installing an alarm.
Pools, playground equipment and toys, construction projects, weapons, old appliances, cars, and sand and gravel piles are just a few of the more common attractive nuisances that can result in a premises liability claim. If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, you should seek legal advice about your options. At Denver Trial Lawyers ®, we have experience with attractive nuisance claims and we can help you pursue all possible causes of action against landowners, property managers and others.