Wisconsin Law Presumes a Child Under the Age of 7 is Not Negligent
A child does not have the same ability to judge a situation that an adult possesses. Therefore, the law does not hold a child to the same expectations of an adult. At the same time, we do expect children to behave in an age appropriate manner. In Wisconsin, a statute sets forth that a child under the age of 7 years old is not capable of being negligent. Wis. Stat. 891.44. Beyond the age of 7 years, a child can be considered negligent, but the standard to which the conduct of the child is compared varies. The law hold it would be unfair to hold an 8 year old child to the standard of care expected of an adult. As a child develops and they grow in size and knowledge they are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. However, a finder of fact needs to keep in mind that not all children develop equally.
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