“Mudding” refers to off-road driving through muddy fields, creeks, meadows or other areas. This extreme driving sport can get messy as it typically involves spinning wheels, flinging mud and tearing up vegetation. But when it involves injury or property damage, who is responsible?
Off-road vehicle accidents are often treated just like traditional car accidents. If another driver acted negligently and crashed into you, or drove in an unsafe way and caused an accident, that driver may be held responsible for your injuries or property damage.
The owner of the property where the injury occurs may also be liable. Property owners are generally responsible for making sure their guests are safe. While mudding may be considered an inherently dangerous activity, the property owner is obligated to warn guests of any obvious dangers and make the space as safe as possible.
In addition, the manufacturer may be held liable if the accident and injury were caused by a vehicle defect. A product liability claim may be strong if the manufacturer or distributed knew that the vehicle could be dangerous but failed to take action to prevent any injury.
But be warned – if you go mudding on someone else’s land and cause property damage you may find yourself on the other side of a civil claim. There may also be fines for trespassing in addition to having to pay for damage you cause to the land.
There are many ways to seek compensation if you have been injured in an accident. Consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you review your situation, consider your options and help you pursue any appropriate claims so you can focus on recovery.
Source: Injured, “‘Mudding’ Injuries: Who’s Stuck Paying the Bill?” Andrew Lu, April 3, 2013