Children, Trespassing, & California Premises Liability Law

This week, we have been discussing California premises liability law and trespassing. We’ve explained that if you are on a property illegally or without permission, your chances of securing compensation for an accident and injury may be affected. However, trespassing children are held to a different standard under the law than trespassing adults.

In the case of a trespassing child who suffers an accident and injury on private property, we should ask the following questions:

  • Should the landowner have known that children might, or often did, trespass? For example, if a property owner was aware of the fact that children were illegally on his land often to swim in a pond, he may have a responsibility to protect those children from the water hazard.
  • Did the owner know a hazard on his property was dangerous to children? Could the landowner foresee a child trespassing on his land and injuring themselves because of a hazard on the property?
  • Was a hazard on the land attractive to children? For example, if there is a pool or trampoline on the private property, a property owner should be aware that children may approach the area without recognizing the danger.

The law assumes that children have a more difficult time assessing risk than adults, and that children may have difficulty staying away from an attractive area even if it is on private property, and even if it is dangerous. The law also assumes that children will use properties differently than adults—they may be running, jumping, or wandering into off-limit areas.

If your child was injured in an accident on someone else’s property, it is important to discern whether the property owner had a duty to keep your child reasonably safe. It also is important to determine whether your child was a trespasser on the property.

To better understand your child’s possible personal injury case, speak with a Newport Beach slip and fall lawyer today. Contact Russell & Lazarus to schedule a free case evaluation by calling (949) 851-0222.

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