What is our liability if we had a friend staying with us in our private subdivision and he fell through a PVC rail off our bridge breaking his ankle and tibia?

UPDATED: May 9, 2014

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 9, 2014Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is our liability if we had a friend staying with us in our private subdivision and he fell through a PVC rail off our bridge breaking his ankle and tibia?

He was told not to lean against the rail 1-2 weeks earlier and did it anyway. He is on disability and I think looking for a buck. The bridge is on a road into our subdivision and the rail has been there for years with no problem. We don’t have an HOA anymore. Would we all be liable or is it the liability of the property owner’s on the side he fell off?

Asked on May 9, 2014 under Personal Injury, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Potentially, whomever was responsible for maintaining that rail could be liable. Even if you don't have an HOA, it is likely the community as a whole, because it is most likely not the case that the rail or bridge is owned by a single property owner. Who owns the bridge and would repair it if it fell down or was damaged--that will help determine who may be liable.

If the railing was known to be too weak or risky--which is probably the case, if he was being warned against leaning on it--then it is likely that it was negligent (unreasonably careless) to not replace or repair it so that it was strong enough (PVC is almost certainly an inappropriate railing material); that negligence would give rise to liability. If he was warned, however, he would also have been negligent to at least some degree, and his own culpability should reduce what he could recover in a lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption