California’s beautiful weather year-round means people are always taking advantage of all of nature and recreational activities available outdoors. Whether you prefer to hike, bike, or just enjoy a local walking trail, there’s something for everyone. These outdoor recreational spaces, however, can sometimes pose unknown or unexpected dangers. However, when accidents occur at a local park or recreational area, accident victims may face legal hurdles when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
In a recent California Court of Appeal decision, the court considered a claim relating to trail immunity. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff frequently rode bis bicycle through a local park, where a fence created a physical barrier that cyclists had to maneuver around when moving along the trail. At some point unknown to the plaintiff, the old fence was replaced with a wire cable type fence.
On the day of the accident, the plaintiff was riding his bicycle along the trail, did not see the wire cables strung between the new fence posts, and mistakenly believed he could ride through them. When he attempted to do so, he was thrown from his bicycle over the handlebars and onto the ground, suffering serious injuries. The plaintiff sued the local county in charge of maintaining the park. The county responded by asserting that the plaintiff’s claims were under the county’s trail immunity. The lower court sided with the defendants, holding that because the new fencing was a “condition” of the trail, the defendants were immune from legal action.