Every day, thousands of Illinois residents take the opportunity to get outside and enjoy recreational activities that often takes them onto the property of others. When you consider of someone else’ property, you probably think of their home, yard, lakeside cottage or cabin, or business property. What you may not always remember is that privately owned property may also include forested areas, open meadows, and waterfront land that provide inviting settings for enjoying the outdoors. Unfortunately, however, many individuals are injured during such activities, and due to existing laws in Illinois, a person injured during recreation on another’s property may have limited avenues for collecting damages.
Afforded Protections for Recreational Use
In 2013, the Illinois legislature officially addressed the concerns of landowners who were willing to offer the public use of their property but had reservations due to potential personal injury liability. Until that point, the law had only offered protections to owners related to hunting and other shooting sports on the owners’ land. Lawmakers realized that, in order to encourage conservation and outdoor recreation in the state, landowners need to feel secure in offering their property for such uses, and in August 2013, a new law provided the needed security.