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Skateboarders and premises liability

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Posted on March 22, 2017

Residential and commercial property owners in Illinois and elsewhere around the country generally get annoyed when skateboarders show up unannounced and uninvited in their spaces, and for good reason. Premises liability is a legal concept that holds both private homeowners and public business operators responsible for any injuries that occur on their property, especially if they were preventable.

Although some people skateboard as a way of getting around, there are many who are attracted to the extreme and dangerous side of the activity and always looking for the next obstacle to conquer. Skateboarders attempting new tricks have damaged a lot of structures in Martinsville, Virginia, including benches, cement structures and handrails. The city has implemented an ordinance banning anyone who is at least 14 years old from skateboarding on sidewalks.

In addition to causing extensive property damage, skateboarding can also severely injure those who participate in the activity. Figures released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show that over 25,000 people a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for skateboarding injuries, most of them children under 15 years of age.

People who own private residences and public spaces can protect themselves from being held liable for any injuries skateboarders sustain on their properties by posting clear signage that prohibits the activity. Explicit signs forbidding skateboarding in especially tempting areas may deter skateboarders, freeing the property owner from any liability as well as potentially preventing an accident.

If someone gets injured on another person’s property, he or she may need to consult with an attorney if the property owner refuses to pay for the damages. A lawyer can file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the property where the injury occurred, alleging that he or she failed to act or was negligent.