Understanding injury compensation for recreational activities

Date: Feb 17, 2014

When it comes to recreational activities, the laws around who can and cannot make a public liability injury claim are quite complex.

If you have sustained an injury while taking part in recreational activities, keep reading to find out whether you could be eligible for injury compensation.

According to the Civil Liability Act of New South Wales (2002), “recreational activities” are defined as sports (whether they have been organised ahead of time or not) and other pursuits that are undertaken for “enjoyment, relaxation or leisure”. It also covers pursuits that are “engaged in at a public place”, such as a beach or a park, where people ordinarily partake in such activities.

This covers quite a wide range of activities, which means any number of incidents in a variety of public places could lead to a successful public liability injury claim.

However, it should be noted that if you receive an injury while undertaking recreational activities that are regarded as “dangerous” – that is, they involve a “significant risk of physical harm” – it can be more difficult to prove someone else is to blame for you accident.

For example, the Civil Liability Act states the person you make a claim against cannot be held responsible for an injury you sustain if and when an “obvious” risk materialises. This is the case whether or not you were aware of the “obvious” risk when you decided to take part in the dangerous activity.

In addition to this, if you have been warned about the risk posed by dangerous recreational activities, no “duty of care” is owed to you. The argument is that you have willingly decided to participate in an activity that you know could result in an injury, so it’s ultimately your responsibility if that injury eventuates.

The Civil Liability Act explains that you may be warned either verbally or in writing. If you, for whatever reason, are deemed “incapable” of receiving such a warning, it must be given to someone accompanying you or a caregiver. It must also be given to you before you begin any dangerous recreational activities.

Interestingly, it’s not up to person giving the warning to make sure you understand it. The Act also reveals that any warning about the risks inherent in a dangerous recreational activity do not need to be specific – “it can be a general warning of risks that include the particular risk”.

If you have been injured during recreational activities and want to know if you could be eligible for compensation, get in touch with a compensation lawyer today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.