Children and Premises Liability: Unique Standards for Child Injuries in Arizona

When it comes to premises liability cases involving children, Arizona follows a unique set of rules and standards. These laws are designed to protect children, who may not fully understand the risks associated with certain hazards or have the same level of judgment as adults. This article will explore the legal principles governing premises liability cases involving child injuries in Arizona, including the attractive nuisance doctrine and the duty of care owed to children.

Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The attractive nuisance doctrine is a legal concept that recognizes that children may be drawn to potentially hazardous conditions or objects on someone else’s property, such as construction sites, swimming pools, or abandoned machinery. Under this doctrine, property owners have a heightened duty of care to protect children from these attractive nuisances, even if the children are technically trespassing.

In Arizona, the attractive nuisance doctrine applies when the following conditions are met:

  1. The condition or object on the property is inherently dangerous to children.
  2. The condition or object is likely to attract children who are incapable of understanding the risk involved.
  3. The risk of injury outweighs the utility or necessity of maintaining the condition or object.
  4. The landowner knew or should have realized that children were possible to trespass onto the property.

If these conditions are met, the landowner may be held liable for any injuries sustained by a child who was drawn to the attractive nuisance. This doctrine is particularly relevant in cases involving swimming pools, playground equipment, construction sites, and abandoned buildings or machinery.

Duty of Care Owed to Children

In general, property owners in Arizona owe a higher duty of care to children than they do to adults, especially when it comes to foreseeable risks or hazards that may be present on their property. This means that property owners must take reasonable steps to look after children who may visit or be present on their premises, even if the children are not invited guests.

The duty of care owed to children is based on the principle that children lack the same level of judgment, maturity, and risk awareness as adults. As a result, property owners must anticipate the potential for children to engage in behavior that may put them at risk and take appropriate measures to mitigate those risks.

Determining Liability in Child Injury Cases

In premises liability cases involving child injuries, determining liability often hinges on demonstrating that the property owner did not exercise sufficient care in protecting children from foreseeable hazards or hazards on their property.

To establish liability, the following elements must typically be proven:

  • The property owner owed a duty of care to the child.
  • The landowner broke that duty of care.
  • The breach of duty was the proximate cause of the child’s injuries.
  • The child suffered actual damages as a result of the injuries.

Comparative Negligence and Parental Supervision

It is important to note that in Arizona, the doctrine of comparative negligence applies in premises liability cases involving child injuries. This means that if the child’s own negligence or lack of supervision contributed to the injury, the amount of compensation the child may receive could be reduced proportionally.

Statute of Limitations

In Arizona, there is a specific statute of limitations for filing premises liability claims involving child injuries. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. However, for claims involving minors, the statute of limitations is tolled (paused) until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old in Arizona.

Call an Attorney for Advice

If your child has been injured on someone else’s property in Arizona, whether it be a broken arm or a more serious injury like a spinal cord injury, it is essential to find legal support from an experienced premises liability attorney. At Monge & Associates, we have offices in 32 locations across 19 states, including Arizona, Ohio, and Washington. Our knowledgeable lawyers will help you navigate the complex legal landscape of premises liability cases involving child injuries and ensure that your child’s rights are protected.

Premises liability cases involving child injuries in Arizona are subject to unique standards and legal principles, such as the attractive nuisance doctrine and the heightened duty of care owed to children. If you know of a child who has been injured on someone else’s property, it is crucial to encourage their parent or guardian to seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney who can advise them on their rights and guide them through the process of seeking compensation for their child’s injuries. They can contact us for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.