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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Injury Liability for a Private Lane Used to Access Forest Trails

    My question involves an injury that could occur in the state of: Pennsylvania.
    We live in the forest and the lane in front of our house is partially ours and partially our neighbors. MANY people use the lane to access the forest on their ATV's, UTV's and golf carts. Are we liable if someone gets hurt on "our property" when they are on the lane? This lane has been there for years, long before we purchased the house, and no known accidents have occurred. But in this litigious society it makes me wonder what could happen. Especially when this past weekend two ATV's came very close to tangling with each other on the lane.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Private Lane Used to Access Forest Trails

    You could be, yes.

    Is there any sort of documented easement that allows "Many people" to use the lane? If not and both you and your neighbor are in agreement why don't you stop the unauthorized use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,953

    Default Re: Private Lane Used to Access Forest Trails

    Your homeowners policy liability section covers you against anybody claiming that your negligence caused them injury or damage.

    Whether you are liable or not depends on the circumstances. About the only possibilities that I can think of are based on how well you maintain your side of the lane. Examples: If you leave potholes, stones, or otherwise uneven surfaces and somebody's ATV hits one and turns over or a pedestrian trips and falls.

    If anybody ever blames you for an injury or damage, the only thing you say is "I'll report this to my insurance company" and say nothing more. Then you immediately get on the phone and call the claims department. There should be a toll-free number somewhere in your policy papers.

    Otherwise, don't worry about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,395

    Default Re: Private Lane Used to Access Forest Trails

    Quote Quoting CBellcqa
    View Post
    Are we liable if someone gets hurt on "our property" when they are on the lane?
    That depends on the cause(s) of the injury and other relevant facts.

    This is why your property owner's insurance has a liability component. You might want to talk with your insurance agent to discuss whether obtaining an umbrella policy on top of that might be a good idea.

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