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What is a “Dangerous Recreational Activity”?

By 14 January 2014News & Articles

We all love a bit of fun and sometimes we get involved with activities that could be considered dangerous, this is activity where accidents often happen and in some cases these accidents can be life threatening or can cause death.

At GC Law we handle claims on behalf of a number of clients and we often get asked the question, “What is classed as a dangerous recreational activity“?

If you are injured while participating in a “dangerous recreational activity” you may be precluded from claiming compensation for your injuries because the risk of harm is an obvious risk of the activity.

So to answer the question, what is a “dangerous recreational activity”?

Courts around Australia have considered the definition in numerous cases and can provide us with some guidance about what types of activities are considered to be “dangerous recreational activities”.

To date, Courts have considered the following activities to be “dangerous recreational activities”:-

• Diving from a wall into an uncertain depth of water;
• Kangaroo shooting at night;
• Riding a BMX in a skate park;
• Learning to fly a light aircraft;
• Doing a backflip from a rope connected to a tree into the water.

The following activities have been held not to be “dangerous recreational activities”:-

• Playing a game of OzTag Touch Football;
• Calm water cruising;
• Snow skiing for the first time and failing to ski clear of a ditch at the end of the slope;
• Participating in a work retreat comprising of activities including a “leap of faith” challenge (jumping from a platform to a trapeze bar at 7 metres above the ground, wearing a harness);
• Alighting from the wing of a vintage aircraft.

There is no hard and fast rule to determine what is or isn’t a “dangerous recreational activity”.  Consideration needs to be given to identifying the risk of injury and the physical harm likely to be suffered.  An activity that involves a high risk of sustaining a minor injury could not be considered to be a “dangerous recreational activity”.  Similarly, an activity that has a trivial risk of sustaining serious injury would also not be a “dangerous recreational activity”.

The risk of physical harm must be significant, and the risk of it occurring must be more than trivial.

At the end of the day, each case will be decided on its own individual facts.
If you, a friend or family member has been injured as a result of an accident you mat be able to claim compensation, if you would like more information on how GC Law can help, please contact us either by using our Free Case Review page on our web site or by calling 1300 302 318.

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