What is a Recreational User Statute
Most states have recreational user statutes. These statutes provide limited liability protection to landowners that allow the public to use their land for recreational purposes without charging a fee. These statutes are intended to encourage landowners to open their property for recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
Ohio’s Recreational User Statute
Ohio’s Recreational User Statute, codified in Ohio Revised Code section 1533.181, provides immunity to landowners who permit others to hunt, fish, snowmobile, or conduct other recreational activities on their property. As long as the landowner grants permission for the use and does not receive a fee from the recreational user, the landowner owes no legal duty to make sure the land is safe for the user. As a result, landowners are encouraged to open non-residential land for recreational activities.
Ohio Revised Code 1533.181 states:
(A) No owner, lessee, or occupant of premises: (1) Owes any duty to a recreational user to keep the premises safe for entry or use; (2) Extends any assurance to a recreational user, through the act of giving permission, that the premises are safe for entry or use; (3) Assumes responsibility for or incurs liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of a recreational user.
(B) Division (A) of this section applies to the owner, lessee, or occupant of privately owned, nonresidential premises, whether or not the premises are kept open for public use and whether or not the owner, lessee, or occupant denies entry to certain individuals.
Under typical recreational user statutes, landowners are shielded from certain liability claims that may arise from injuries or accidents that occur on their property during recreational use. The extent of protection and specific requirements can vary from state to state, so it’s important to consult an attorney or refer to the most recent statutes or legal resources to obtain accurate and current information regarding state recreational user laws. Contact one of our subrogation attorneys to discuss the Recreational User Statute in your state.