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Can I sue if I am injured while hiking at a state park?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Georgia is home to many beautiful recreational areas such as lakes and parks where people are allowed to swim, hike and enjoy other outdoor activities at no cost. Still, these areas could pose hazards to those using the land, and it is possible to become injured while enjoying activities at these locations.

If you trip and fall a store or at a person’s home due to the property owner’s negligence, you might have grounds for pursuing a premises liability lawsuit as long as you were not trespassing. However, these same rules do not apply to recreational areas.

Immunity from liability

In Georgia, if a property owner allows people to use their land for recreation at no cost, they are immune from liability for injuries suffered due either to dangerous conditions on their property or due to a lack of warning of the dangerous condition. This applies to private property owners as well as government-owned land.

Exceptions to immunity

However, there is an exception to this immunity. If the owner of recreational property either willfully or maliciously does not warn the public about dangerous conditions on their property, they could be liable for injuries suffered on their property.

In addition, if a private owner of recreational property charges a person for using their land for recreational purposes, when normally there is no charge to use the land, and the person is injured, the property owner could be held liable. However, this does not apply to recreational property that is owned by the government

So, if a person is injured while swimming or hiking at a private park that the public is normally allowed to use at no cost, they might not be able to pursue a premises liability lawsuit unless they were charged for such use on that particular day. This immunity limits when a person can pursue a legal claim against the owner of recreational property.