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BE CAREFUL WHILE YOU ENJOY THE LOCAL PARK

BE CAREFUL WHILE YOU ENJOY THE LOCAL PARK—STATE LAW MAY BAR YOU FROM RECOVERING FOR YOUR INJURIES--EVEN IF THE PARK IS UNSAFE.



Imagine you are riding your motorcycle in the local bike park and your tire hits a very large hole in the pavement, propelling you over the handlebars and causing you to break your leg.  You think that you will be able to sue the owner of the park for your injuries and medical bills.  After all, the park has to have known of the hole and did nothing to fix it.  Right? 


Actually, that may not be right at all.  You may be barred from suing the park owner due to a law known as "The Missouri Recreational Use Act, or the "RUA."  Section 537.346 of the Missouri Revised Statutes clearly states that "an owner of land owes no duty of care to any person who enters on the land without charge to keep his land safe for recreational use or to give any general or specific warning with respect to any natural or artificial condition, structure, or personal property thereon."  In other words, if someone allows their land to be used for recreational use without a charge, then that landowner may not have to keep his land safe or to warn you of problems with his land.


There are, however, many exceptions to the law. For instance, the law doesn't protect a landowner if the landowner is grossly negligent.  The law also doesn't protect a landowner if he charges a fee to enter the land.  It doesn't protect the owner of a swimming pool. 


There are other exceptions, so it is important to consult an attorney when you are injured while using someone's land for recreational purposes to determine whether you can bring an action against that landowner. You might be barred by the Missouri RUA. 

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