Information about Hill Walking, Fishing and Public Liability Accident Claims

Accident claims in these types of outdoor pursuits are becoming more commonplace due to the increase in uptake in hill waking and fishing hobby sports.  

General speaking such cases are hard to prove and there is always a degree of sympathy for the Land Owner.  However in certain circumstances if you are injured in a fishing or hillwalking accident and if that accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

How does a hillwalking, fishing accident claim arise?

A good example of how a fishing or hillwalking public liability type accident can arise came before the High Court recently in July 2015.

A fisherman fractured his ankle after climbing a makeshift gate when on his way from a river path which was blocked by the gate.

The accident occurred in Bray, Co. Wicklow near the river Dargle and the Plaintiff could not continue with his fishing hobby for almost a year as a result of the accident.

The fisherman was night fishing at the time of the accident and there was no notification or sign in place to say that the established public right of way had been blocked.

When the fisherman attempted to get over the gate his foot became caught in the gate and he fell as a result of which he spent three weeks in hospital with a broken ankle and he encountered further problems.

The Fisherman sued SIAC Construction for negligently allowing a public right of way to be blocked by a makeshift wooden gate which had been nailed in place.  In addition there was also a failure on the part of the Defendants to provide a gate that was capable of being opened and closed.

He was awarded €60,000 by the High Court.

This case shows the importance of respecting public rights of way which have been established by the public over a number of years.

In circumstances where those rights of way have been blocked or indeed where certain hazards are put in the way of the hillwalker or fisherman, a cause of action could be established depending on the circumstances of the case.

What to do when you have a hillwalking, fishing type public liability accident?

  • Gather evidence of the hazard or situation which led to the accident as soon as possible.  Photographs should be taken of the area where the hazard exists and of the hazard itself.  
  • It is important to speak to those who witnessed the accident in order to ascertain their contact details for the purposes of your future claim.  
  • If possible you should find out who owns the land and who erected the hazard which led to the accident.  Your Solicitor will in any event establish the landowner in the event that you have a case.

How to start a hillwalking, fishing public liability accident claim

The first step in every such accident claim is to prepare the case for lodging with the Injuries Board.  

If you have been involved in a hillwalking, fishing public liability type claim and you wish to take a case, Sinnott Solicitors will be in a position to take your claim and to help you achieve the maximum compensation available.

Sinnott Solicitors have completed an ultimate guide to the Injuries Board and Injury Court Claims Process which you can access by clicking on this link.