Skateboarding is a popular activity, sport and mode of transport in Illinois, but it can also be dangerous. According to a skateboarding enthusiast and instructor, the risk of injury is part of the draw of the pass time. When people get hurt while skateboarding, though, the owner of the property where they were hurt might have liability.
Premises liability is a legal claim whereby the owner of public or private land may be found liable for injuries that occur on the property. It is more likely that the landowner will be found liable if the event that led to injury was foreseeable. Premises liability applies to cases where the injured party was invited onto the property and it may also apply where a person is hurt in an area that is tempting for skateboarders, even if they were not invitees.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that at least 25,000 people are treated in emergency rooms following skateboarding accidents annually. Almost 60 percent of the injuries involve children younger than 15 years old. Some states have skateboarding laws that prohibit or restrict the activity in certain areas. These laws take into account the manner, time and age of the person skateboarding. Often these laws are categorized with laws that impact rollerbladers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
In a case where a person is injured while skateboarding on someone else’s property, he or she might be able to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages under a theory of premises liability. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help in such a case by examining the site of the accident and determining whether the property owner might be liable. An attorney might negotiate settlement with insurers or at-fault parties. If settlement efforts are unsuccessful, an attorney may draft and file a complaint for damages.