Fun doesn’t have to be synonymous with dangerous. Certain fun equipment, though, often leads to injuries. Many items from toys to exercise equipment to old machinery can cause serious injury if they’re used incorrectly.
Many people are aware of the insurance term “attractive nuisance.” It’s when an item in your possession might attract trespassers – and cause them harm. Children are especially drawn to certain kinds of items. If they’re injured, you may be responsible for the results. There are many examples, from parking a junk cars in your backyard to an uncovered well or unusual landscaping, but the two most common nuisances are swimming pools and trampolines.
A little background
The modern trampoline was patented in 1945, eventually making its way into physical education programs. In 1977, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued the first public warnings about their safety. They entered the home market soon after. Today, they’re a common sight in any residential area.
While children of all ages enjoy bouncing and the resulting free fall, too many people have awkward landings, hit springs or support beams, or suffer other collision-related injuries. Injury severity can range from bumps and bruises to broken bones, even spinal and brain injuries with permanent consequences. While safety improvements have been made, many pediatricians still won’t let their own children use them.
A closer look at the attractive nuisance
It’s okay for people to own dangerous equipment if they use it wisely. The challenge of an attractive nuisance is that others might use it, and without supervision. Many insurance companies will not cover a home with a trampoline, because any injury that occurs—whether the homeowner permitted its use or not—is their responsibility.
If a homeowner doesn’t shovel their sidewalk, leading to a slip and fall injury on their property, they are liable for damages. Similarly, trampoline and other attractive nuisance injuries happened because of the property owners’ actions. The key to a premises liability case is if the property owner could have avoided the results. A fence or closed environment will help their defense, as compared to a trampoline left available to the public in their front yard, but there is still liability for what happens on their property. Anyone seeking to understand such injuries and their legal rights should consult with an experienced attorney for a review of their individual case.