New York residents may see skateboarding as a recreational activity or as a way to get around town. However, there is an extreme element to it that can result in liability issues for property owners. Each year, there are more than 25,000 trips to the emergency room related to skateboard injuries, and nearly 60 percent of those who are injured are under the age of 15. This is according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Typically, the same laws that apply to bicyclists or other pedestrians apply to those who use a skateboard. In Los Angeles, those who use a skateboard are required to obey stop signs, follow speed limits and avoid other vehicles. Local ordinances may ban skateboarding in bike lanes or on sidewalks. It is actually illegal for anyone over the age of 14 to skateboard on a sidewalk in some areas of the country.
Property owners may wish to put up signs that strictly forbid skateboarding. This is because they may be liable for any injuries that occur if they could be foreseen. To help property owners, many communities have created public skate parks where those of all skill levels can enjoy the activity in a safe manner. In some areas, public skating areas combined with public ordinances further reduce a property owner's liability.
Those who are hurt while skateboarding or for any other reason while on another person's property may wish to talk to an attorney who has experience with premises liability litigation. In many cases, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation if the property owner knew or should have known that dangerous conditions could have led to someone getting hurt.