Washington property owner liability for bikers on premises

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2021 | Premises Liability |

Washington is known for its vast array of recreational opportunities, including land for bikers to enjoy riding their vehicles. Historically, the Washington recreational immunity law provided a level of protection to property owners when a biker was injured on the premises. Last year, a challenge was mounted to that law. The Washington Supreme Court issued a ruling clarifying the scope and extent of the recreational immunity statute.

What is the Washington recreational immunity law?

The purpose of the law is to protect property owners who open up their lands for recreational uses against lawsuits if someone is injured recreating on the premises. This premises liability law includes protection to property owners if a person gets injured biking on a property.

Challenge to the Washington recreational immunity law

In the case that ended up in court, a person was injured while riding a bike on a property made available for recreational and other purposes. The biker attempted to pursue a claim for compensation for injuries. The property owner defended the case using the Washington recreational immunity law. The Washington Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the injured biker, raising the possibility that the recreational immunity law would have limited value for landowners in the future.

Washington Supreme Court clarifies the recreational immunity law

The case reached the Washington Supreme Court, which reversed the decision of the appellate court. The Supreme Court affirmed that a landowner has legal protection against liability for a person injured on his or her property. This protection extends to situations in which the property is made available to the public solely for recreational purposes. It also exists if a property owner makes the premises available for other purposes.

With the affirmation of the recreational immunity law, property owners appear to have an important shield against legal liability for a person injured recreating on the premises. A person with questions about a situation involving bikers using the property might want to ask an attorney for clarification.