Is the property owner responsible if I was injured when I jumped into their pond?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is the property owner responsible if I was injured when I jumped into their pond?

My family recently booked a trip to a cabin in the hills. On the property there is a man-made recreational pond. Swimming, fishing, canoeing, etc. is encouraged. However, renters must be aware of risks. I jumped off of the dock and into the water. My ankle was caught by an aluminum chair sitting at the bottom. My knee buckled up behind me. After a couple days of pain, swelling and no

evidence of healing, I went to get X-rays. I re-injured my MCL and also injured my ankle with a grade 3 high sprain. I’m going to miss work time as a mid-senior level manager. Is the landowner responsible for my injury?

Asked on March 31, 2017 under Personal Injury, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They are most likely not responsible:
1) Jumping into water is a do-it-at-your-own risk sort of activity, since there could be anything under the water...that means you "assume the risk" of hitting something, and that assumption of the risk generally precludes recovery of compensation.
2) Even without the above, a property owner does not insure their guests; they are liable only if at fault. However, anyone else--e.g. a prior guest--could have dropped that chair there and the owners would have no way of controlling what happened or knowing about the chair to have it removed. It would be almost impossible to prove in court that the owners were at fault.

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 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.

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