Nevada Attractive Nuisance Law

Attractive nuisance is a legal term that refers to a dangerous condition on a property that may attract young children. For example, swimming pools appeal to children, which may cause them to trespass onto property without understanding the danger. Therefore, Nevada imposes an attractive nuisance law, which holds landowners to a higher duty of care to protect children who can potentially wander onto their property.

Nevada Attractive Nuisance Law

When Property Owners are Liable for Child Injuries

Under Nevada’s attractive nuisance law, Nevada Revised Statute 41.515 (NRS 41.515), property owners must take precautionary measures to prevent foreseeable injuries. If they fail to keep the property reasonably safe for wandering children, they can be legally liable for a child’s harm. For a property owner to be liable, the following elements must be present:

  • The trespasser is a child.
  • Due to their age, the child did not realize the risk of entering the property or area.
  • The condition that caused harm is artificial, meaning it does not exist naturally (e.g., lake or river).
  • The property owner had reason to know or should have known that the artificial condition could attract a child.
  • The property owner knew or should have known that the condition could potentially cause severe injury or death to a trespassing child.
  • The property owner failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or take steps to prevent harm to a trespassing child.
  • The time and expense to eliminate the danger or prevent potential harm were minimal compared to the risk of injury to a trespassing child.

The attractive nuisance law applies only to man-made conditions, such as swimming pools, fountains, trampolines, playground equipment, construction projects, tools or equipment, weapons, etc.

Protecting Against Attractive Nuisance Dangers

Examples of preventative measures property owners can take to prevent harm to trespassing children include the following:

  • Installing secure fences with locked gates
  • Moving objects away from fences, gates, or walls that can be climbed (e.g., table, chair, large potted plant, etc.)
  • Using a safety pool cover that prevents drowning
  • Locking all hazardous tools, equipment, and chemicals away
  • Hanging flood lights in areas with low visibility
  • Hiring security guards for added protection
  • Installing alert devices, such as an alarm, siren, or flashing lights when someone has trespassed onto the premises
  • Hanging warning signs, however, young children may be unable to read them

If a property owner did what they could to prevent harm from an attractive nuisance danger, they are less likely to be liable.

Premises Liability Lawsuit

When a child is harmed after trespassing onto a premises, the property owner may be liable for their injury and any related financial losses. The injured child’s parents may have the option to pursue a premises liability lawsuit under the attractive nuisance doctrine to recover compensation by showing that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the premises. The types of compensation available may include current and future medical bills, lost wages if the parent misses work to care for the child, compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

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