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When Trespassers Get Hurt

In some states, the doctrine of "attractive nuisance" applies to personal injury cases involving trespassing children. The doctrine is premised on the fact that children are unable to appreciate hazards, and can actually be attracted to dangerous conditions. These attractive but dangerous scenarios include swimming pools, large holes in the ground, dangerous objects to play on or in, among many others.

If a property owner did not take reasonable care in protecting children from specific hazards, they can be liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine. If, though, the condition was "within the ordinary course of business," and the property owner took certain precautions to ensure general safety, the doctrine will not be applied by the courts.

In New York, though, courts will only hold property owners liable if the injuries a trespasser sustains are caused by "willful and wanton" action on the part of the landowner. New York focuses more on protecting victims of personal injury based on a property owner's negligence in maintaining or addressing dangerous conditions on their property. Age of the victim and the attractive nuisance doctrine do not usually come into play when determining the property owner's liability.

If you have suffered from injuries as a result of someone else's negligence or recklessness, contact a personal injury attorney who can best advise you of your legal remedies and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171.

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