Find the right lawyer now

Recreational Use Statutes Lawyers

Find a Local Personal Injury Lawyer near You

When Is a Landowner Liable for an Injury on the Landowner's Property?

A landlord is generally liable for a tenant's injuries when the landlord acts negligently. A landlord is also generally liable for 3rd party injuries when the landlord acts negligently. A landlord is generally not liable for a recreational users injuries.

Purpose of Recreational Use Statutes

Recreational use statutes are designed to encourage landowners to open their land to others for recreational uses, such as for skiing, fishing, hiking, etc. without the landowner fearing liability for injuries that result from such recreational uses. Landowners allow access to their property to people seeking recreation. In return for being allowed to recreate on the landowners property, the person waives their right to sue the landowner for injuries resulting from the landowner's negligence.

The Protection of the Recreational Use Statutes

The recreational use statutes generally protect a landowner from liability against recreational users who are injured on their property. Most recreational use statutes state that an owner of real estate has no obligation to keep the property safe for use for recreational purposes. Recreational use statutes vary by jurisdiction. Check the local statute to see what recreational use protections are available in your jurisdiction.

Exceptions to the Protection

Recreational use statutes do not provide protection to landowners who: 

  • Charges entry or usage fees
  • Are willful or malicious in their conduct or fail to warn of hazards
  • Expressly invite the recreational users onto the property (some jurisdictions only)
  • Recreational use statutes generally do not bar claims of attractive nuisance  (some jurisdictions only)

Should I Consult a Personal Injury Attorney?

Recreational liability law is very complicated and varies by jurisdiction. A personal injury attorney can help you identify the law that applies in your jurisdiction and can represent you in court, whether you are a landowner fighting liability or an injured recreational user seeking to establish liability. Furthermore, if you know recreational users are accessing your property, you should consult an attorney to fully understand your rights and obligations under the recreational use statute.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 06-26-2018 11:49 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.