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Offroad legal disclaimer

5318 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  veronaisland
You won't be able to completely keep people from trying to go after the owners if somebody gets hurt. However you can make it easier and less likely that it will ever reach court... put up signs that say 'No Trespassing' that way if somebody does get hurt then it was done while trespassing and IF they decide to sue for injuries or whatever the owner can counter sue for damages to the property and for trespassing. It isn't a friendly world but that is the problem people come across regularly in today's day and age.

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Have them sign a disclaimer that, if they are hurt on your land in any way, they will be treated like a horse and will be shot and put down immediately. Turning them into glue is entirely up to you.

Actually this reminds me of the episode when Homer brings home a trampoline...

"Is there anything that can be done than can completely absolve a landowner of responsibility in the case someone gets injured, killed, or otherwise damaged while riding on their land?"

No. Waivers can afford some protection but even if you have them sign every waiver imaginable they can still sue. There are variations from State to State. Better check with an appropriate attorney.

I have a few acres in the mountains that I ride on. I only allow a couple of very close friends to ride on it with me. It's just not worth the risk.
I have a bunch of land just south of the Grand Canyon. I've found a great way of avoiding having to deal with a bunch of friends wanting to use the land; I don't socialize.
"Survivors will be SHOT."
The term is called : Hold Harmless Agreement

Go to Durhamtown Plantaions web site or any one of hundreds of MX tracks and look for a link (You'll find one on almost every site). Copy it- change the names where appropriate and off you go.
That's quite true. Back in 1980 I was riding down Rampart Blvd on my W2-650 after working on New Year's Eve and a drunken illegal alien ran out in front of me on foot. I hit him and broke his leg - compound fracture. 10 months later some lawyer calls me threatening to sue and wanting a settlement. I said, "Go ahead. All I have is a couple hundred bucks in the bank." I never heard another word.
Nothing says "Stay Away!!!" quite like a yard full of Beartraps and Punji pits, and an itchy trigger-finger.
You might want to incorporate, get hurt and sue yourself. Do that and I guarantee no one will want to ride at your place any more.
"Video will be posted on YouTube."
... every ten yards around the lot's perimeter, a 30-gallon fish tank full of piranhas. cardboard "attenzione pesci pericolosi" sign.

i'm surprised that no one mentioned this before me.
Simply solution. Add a hole or quicksand trap to toss in injured people, so they'll never be found and you'll go unsued. Mwhahaha.
"I'm sorry Seth, I know we've been best-buds since 1st Grade - but now you've gone and broken your leg whilst riding on our Land. So, it's into the Abandoned Mine Shaft you go................"

(sound of gunshot, then thirty-seven seconds later the "flagathump!" of a body landing on rocks far, far below)
In Texas, for MC events we have people sign waivers.

Essentially this is to elevate an awareness to the participant.

However in a court these are virtually non enforceable in this state. OK, here come the emails but I'm letting you know from experience. Buy liability insurance for your events, or in your case, increase your ins. by a factor of millions if you let 'the public' ride there. As another responded, it's these times.

Wish it wasn't so.

As Texmotodad said, the only real protection is plenty of liability insurance. Period. You need to put so much money between the lawyers and you that they can never get to your stuff. And someone else will be fighting them all the way.

Good luck!

Kill all the Lawyers!

Then, we'll get the REST of the Terrorists.......
Re: M-cyclist (20K miles)law student (165 LSAT)

The waivers of liability are a good start. They should absolve you of your "negligent acts". That means the usual stuff that injures people like fallen trees or holes in the ground. It will not cover for reckless stuff, like forgetting a pitchfork in the middle of a trail that you know riders will use; or intentional acts like stringing a 20 gage cable across a trail.

The signs help as well, allocate more assumption of risk on the rider, and are tougher to argue out of in a compartive neg. jurisdiction (meaning that the dumb rider's mistakes will be compared to your relatively minor negligence in allowing a trail to fall into disrepair.) However, hiding behind a "no trespassing" sign, when you know and allow people to trespass is a weak argument. It's similar to a bar saying "no minors", and then letting a school bus of 6 year olds in.

Insurance is great, but costs money, and has plenty of exceptions like "allowing 12 year olds to ride 500 CC ATVs on your land"-exception.

In sum, you have alot of policy on your side that protects landowners from liability for recreational activity on their land. Just like farmers who allow people to go fishing in their ponds; or public playground liability. Courts don't want to chill the american non-x box playing recreation alternatives. Also, as a motorcyclist, It is a kick in the balls that absent landowners with 2000 acres just sitting don't allow for more visitors.

I'm not bar certified, and probably doesn't get you any closer to your decision, just 2 cents.

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The laws vary from state to state. In ME, where we have large tracks of undeveloped land used for forestry, state law holds the landowner harmless if he opens the land for recreational use. People using the land are responsible for their own injuries, . The law states you must have permission of the landowner for your activity and in the case of a marked ATV bike trail, permission is implied as long as you remain on the marked trail. That said if a landowner permits access and then intentially creates an unatural hazard, such running a cable across a marked and open trail, there is potential liability. Despite this exception, the law has held up well over the years.

Landowners permitting use of their land to others is a very old tradition in ME, unfortunately increasingly under attack as suburban sprawl and those folks "from away" don't understand the legal protection the state provides.

This links to a FAQ page on Maine liability law.
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