Property Owner Responsibility For Personal Injuries During Outdoor Activities.

April 30, 2013

As a general rule, all Western New York property owners must keep their property reasonably safe.  If they do not and someone suffers a personal injury, the property owner may be held responsible.  When an injury happens on someone else’s property during an outdoor recreational activity such as fishing, boating, bike riding or skiing, there are special rules that apply.  As a result, anyone injured during these activities should consult an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer when deciding whether to seek compensation.

This is because when the injured person was involved in an outdoor recreational activity, the General Obligations Law of New York State provides an exception to the basic requirement to keep property safe.  There is a long list of activities that fall under the category of outdoor recreational activities.  In addition to the ones listed above, it includes hunting, hiking, sledding, horseback riding, riding a snowmobile, and a number of other activities.  Because the landowner has no duty to keep the property safe for these activities, in some cases there is no basis for a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner.

While this may be bad news for the injured person, an experienced personal injury attorney should still be consulted to look into the facts of the case.  There are exceptions that may apply in specific cases.  For example, if the injured person paid the property owner to use the property or the property owner chose not to provide warning about a dangerous condition, damages may still be pursued in a personal injury case.  There are many exceptions, and it is important to speak with someone who knows the rules.

If you have been injured on someone’s property, we can answer your questions regarding your legal rights.  Call us 716-400-0000.