Who is Responsible for This Young Boy’s Death on Dangerous Property?

August 24, 2015

A young boy died recently after falling into what was initially described as a “ground opening.” It was later revealed to be an open septic tank. The 1-year-old was out walking with his mother’s friend who had been watching him at the time when he wandered off on his own into a neighboring property where he fell into the open septic tank. The friend who had been charged with watching him said that they turned around and the boy was gone. The boy was supposedly missing for more than half an hour before the police were called. Upon arrival on the scene, the police quickly found the boy and immediately began conducting CPR while waiting for paramedics, but to no avail. No information has been provided about where the mother was at the time of the incident.

Who Is Liable for Injuries on Dangerous Property?

Accidents that occur due to dangerous property, indoors or outdoors, are referred to as premises liability accidents. These accidents can happen on any property, whether it’s commercial or residential. The liability for the accident will fall to the owner or the “guest” depending on the situation.

Typically the owner of the property is legally responsible for anyone on their property. The owner has the most control over the safety of the property and is therefore usually the most responsible if there is something dangerous about the property that causes injury. Businesses are typically responsible for the safety of the customers inside their stores. Landlords and apartment building operators are usually responsible for everything that may cause injury inside the building or on the property.

However, the property owner is typically not liable for injuries occurred by people on the property who are not authorized or expected, such as trespassers. However, trespassing children are treated differently. The owner of the property is expected to ensure that naïve children who wander on to the property are not in danger. The property owner might be held responsible for the injury of a trespassing child if they knew, or even should have known, children in the area were likely to wander onto the property.

Premises liability accidents can be complicated cases as there will likely be a lot of people shifting blame on one another for your injury. It is best to hire a personal injury attorney who can get to the bottom of the issue and help you to pursue damages against the responsible party.

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