If you enjoy the outdoors, you might seek out nature areas in your community that offer trails for walking. Such activities can provide plenty of benefits for your physical and emotional health, but they're also not without risks. It's possible to fall and sustain an injury while walking on one of these trails. Most injuries won't be serious — often, you'll only face a bruise or a scrape — but there's also a chance that you could get hurt badly enough to require medical treatment. You may believe that the nature area's negligence contributed to the fall, and thus decide to hire a personal injury attorney to discuss a lawsuit. Here are some factors that may allow you to sue.
Poorly Maintained Area
You probably don't have grounds for a suit if you simply tripped while walking on a trail that was properly maintained, but it's possible that you could've fallen because of a part of the trail wasn't maintained. For example, if there was a set of wooden stairs between two stretches of the trail, and you fell through one stair because it was rotten, this is a perfect scenario for you and your attorney. The nature area has an obligation to keep its terrain safe, and stairs in this condition don't meet this obligation.
No Warning Signs
On some trails, difficult terrain will be marked with warning signs. The presence of a warning sign doesn't automatically mean that you cannot sue, but doing so successfully will be harder because the signs presence puts the onus on you to proceed with caution. It's a good step for your case if there weren't any signs around the area in which you fell. For example, if you fell on the stairs and there wasn't a sign that was advising users to proceed with caution, this will help your case.
You can't really expect to have a successful lawsuit if you wandered a considerable distance off the trail, tripped on a rock, and now are blaming the nature area. In this scenario, the nature area wouldn't be obligated to maintain a specific area that people don't use. Similarly, you'll have trouble if you ignored a temporary or permanent fence to access a part of the trail on which you subsequently fell and got hurt. Conversely, it's good news for your case if the area in which you were injured was easily accessible to anyone in the nature area.