This weekend my wife and I took our little munchkin to Sauvie Island to explore one of the various pumpkin patches scattered about the island. My toddler's mind was blown by all of the amazing things at the pumpkin patch. There were tractors, hay-rides, cow-trains, stacks of hay bails to play on, mazes, corn mazes, and he loved romping around in the pumpkin patch looking for his prized miniature pumpkin. All of these activities are a ton of fun, but some of them can be dangerous.
Some of these activities can be very dangerous if the property owner does not do their job to keep the property safe. Pumpkin Patch owners have a responsibility to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. They should be inspecting their property for dangerous conditions. They should also be warning people of dangerous conditions. If they do not then they may be responsible if a person is injured on their property. These pumpkin patches should be insured and their insurance should be paying medical bills and compensating the injured person if they didn't provide a safe experience.
What should you do if you, or someone you know, is injured at a Pumpkin Patch:
- If seriously injured, immediately seek medical attention and/or call 911;
- If you are injured, or tending to the injured person, delegate someone to take photos and get information for you;
- Photograph the scene of the incident and any injuries;
- Try and get names and phone numbers of witnesses (ask them to send a text to your phone is the easiest way to do it);
- Keep any tickets to any activities at the pumpkin patch;
- Notify the property owner of the incident;
- Take photos of the entrance to the pumpkin patch and ensure you know the address of where you were injured (look on your smart phone or ask someone that works there)
- If you are injured by a tractor or a ride, make sure to get the pumpkin patch's employees full name that was driving the equipment.
- Attempt to get the pumpkin patch's insurance information and determine if they have a "no fault" or "medpay" provision in their policy.
- Call an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney like myself at 503.224.1658.
The Pumpkin Patch Had Signs Noting I was Assuming the Risk of Personal Injury, Can I Still get Compensation? That is a good question, and it may or not deprive you of your right to get compensated for your injuries. It will all be dependent on the facts and the sign. Some activities are so dangerous that a sign cannot alleviate the property owner from responsibility. However, some signs may be enough to prevent an injured person from getting compensated for their harms and losses. Call a lawyer, like myself, if you have any questions.
The Pumpkin Patch's Insurance Company Wants a Statement, Do I have to Give it to them? Typically no. Read my previous blog article on the issue here.
The Pumpkin Patch's Insurance Company Says I Cannot Be Compensated Because of "Recreational Immunity." Is that True? It may be. Oregon's Recreational Immunity Laws (ORS 105.668, et seq.) basically state that if a land owner allows people on their property for certain recreational activities then they are not responsible if a person is injured as a result of the property owner's negligence. However, it does not apply in all situations. One of the main things that may prohibit this defense at a pumpkin patch is when the land-owner charges a fee to participate in an activity on the property. Oregon's Recreational Immunity statute can be difficult to interpret, so please call an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney, such as myself, at 503.224.1658 if you have questions about Oregon's Recreational Immunity Statute.
The Pumpkin Patch's Insurance Company Says I am At Fault for the Injury, So I have to Pay All of My Medical Bills. Is that True? It may be. Oregon is a modified comparative fault state. (See ORS 31.600) What this means is that if you were more negligent than the property owner or other party(ies) then you cannot be compensated for your harms and losses. However, there maybe an insurance policy that allows for no-fault compensation (usually $5,000.00) to repay medical bills. If this issue comes up then call an Oregon Personal Injury attorney at 503.224.1658.
PLEASE CALL AN ATTORNEY AT 503.224.1658 IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS! I am happy to provide free personal injury consultations. Please remember: THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE "LEGAL ADVICE" and may be considered "Attorney Advertising." The law is constantly changing, so it is best to call a lawyer and not rely on this post to determine if you have a personal injury case.