Recreational Activities: Injuries Sustained on Another's Property
Recreational activities such as snowmobiling, sledding, hunting, fishing, camping, and berry picking are popular in Wisconsin. However, if you or a loved one has suffered an injury during one of these activities, you may have been told there is no way to recover for your injuries under current Wisconsin law. But, with an experienced attorney who understands the complexities of Wisconsin's recreational activities law, you may be able to recover damages.
Wisconsin Law and the Berry Picking Statute
Wisconsin Statute 895.52, formerly known as the “Berry Picking Statute,” protects landowners who allow the public to use their property to engage in recreational activities (such as snowmobiling or berry picking). The law currently does not require a landowner to keep the property safe, inspect it, or give warning to others of an unsafe condition on the property. This protects an owner (or grants him or her immunity) from liability for injuries that may occur on the property. No longer referred to as the Berry Picking Statute, section 895.52 of the Wisconsin Statutes is now known as Wisconsin's recreational immunity law.
However, under very specific circumstances, one may still be able to recover for injuries suffered while engaging in recreational activities, like snowmobiling, on another's property. The law provides exceptions to the immunity granted by 895.52. Negligent acts not specifically related to a condition on the land are not immunized. For example, if you were snowshoeing and a landowner was drunkenly snowmobiling through the property, you would likely be able to recover for any injuries suffered if the landowner hit you.
Furthermore, if an owner is making a profit off of the recreational activities (i.e. charges for families to hike or use ATVs) the profits total more than $2,000 during a year, the limitations on liability do not apply. Also, the recreational immunity law does not protect landowners who maliciously fail to warn against unsafe conditions on the property.
Although the law protects landowners to an extent in order to promote landowners to opening their land to recreational activities, the recreational immunity law does not mean that landowners cannot be held accountable for any injuries or death that occur on their property. You and your family may still recover for your injuries.but you will need an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of Wisconsin's recreational immunity law.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a recreational vehicle injury or suffered a personal injury during a recreational activity in Wisconsin, contact one of our Green Bay personal injury lawyers or Appleton personal injury lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. today. We have offices located in Green Bay, Appleton New London, and Oshkosh, and we are happy to provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss your case.