Arizona’s Attractive Nuisance Doctrine: Recovery Available for Child Trespassers

Arizona law generally limits the liability of a property owner if a trespasser is injured on the property. However, there is one big exception to this rule: child trespassers.

Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance

Arizona law recognizes that children do not have the same understanding and judgment as adults to recognize potential dangers. If a landowner maintains a dangerous condition on his or her property that attracts children to it, he or she can be held legally responsible for any injuries that result because of this dangerous condition. Children are naturally curious, and the law imposes a burden on property owners to properly safeguard them rather than putting all the responsibility on the children. The doctrine is intended to protect children from dangers that they are not able to appreciate.

Elements of an Attractive Nuisance Claim

To establish a claim for attractive nuisance, the child’s personal injury attorney must show the following elements:

  • The property owner knows or has reason to know that children are attracted to the property and will likely inspire them to trespass.
  • The property owner knows the condition on the property poses an unreasonable risk of harm to trespassing children.
  • The children do not recognize the potential risk involved in the condition.
  • The property owner could have prevented the accident with a reasonable investment.
  • The property owner failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury to the child.
  • The child is injured.

However, an attractive nuisance may not be found when the attractive object is natural or when the property owner did not place the dangerous condition on the property. Additionally, if the child does appreciate the risk, the doctrine may not apply. The child’s age and intelligence may be considered by the jury when determining whether or not to award damages to the child trespasser.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If your child was injured on what you believe was an attractive nuisance, it is important to discuss the situation with an experienced premises liability attorney from Udall Shumway. Our firm has successfully represented accident victims since 1965 and will put our experience to use on your case. Call us at 480.461.5300 to schedule a confidential consultation.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Child Trespassers, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.