DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
Stepping Up & Standing Out

Property owners owe children a special duty of care

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are many different types of property that people own in New Jersey. Some people own property for their houses, some for a vacation home, recreational purposes and others own property for commercial purposes. There are many different reasons people have commercial property as well. It could be for a store that they own, for offices, warehouses and many other reasons.

While there are many different reasons for owning property, all property owners have something in common which is they owe people a duty of care when they are on their property. The type or level of care they owe people depends on why the people are on the property. Owners owe people invited onto their property the highest level of care and they owe trespassers who the owners do not even know are on the property the lowest level of care. There is one key exception to this rule though and that is if the trespasser is a child.

Property owners owe a higher level of care to children trespassers to protect them from dangerous conditions on the property. In order to be liable for injuries children trespassers suffer on the property though, there are five elements much be proven.

Required elements for proving liability

One is that the dangerous condition is one that the property know or should know would attract children. The owner must also know that the condition would be dangerous to children. The children must also not be of sufficient age to understand the dangerous of the condition on the property. The cost of effort involved in protecting children from the condition must be slight compared to the potential danger and the finally the property owner did not take reasonable steps to protect children from it.

There are many different things that people keep on their property in New Jersey. As children are young and do not always realize the dangers associated with all conditions on property, owners of the property must try to protect them. These are very fact-specific and complicated matters. Experienced attorneys understand the elements though and may be able to guide one through the process.