The last thing you may want to think about when heading to the lake for a day is getting injured. However, more and more people are getting hurt in an unexpected way. Rope swings, often strung up over creeks or the shores of a lake, are usually believed to be harmless summer fun, but a rope swing accident can actually cause serious personal injury or death.
In April of last year, a teenage girl died after falling nearly 120 feet from a rope swing at Carolina Point in Pickens County. The swing in this case was almost more of a carnival ride, looking like a large version of a swing set on a playground, where riders are strapped in with a rappelling harness. There are many rope swings, however, that are far less elaborate but potentially just as dangerous. The most common swing set ups are as simple as a rope tied over a branch. While these seem like good fun, participants should take care, as serious injury could occur.
Who is liable when a rope swing accident occurs?
While the at fault party in the teen’s death mentioned above was relatively easy to determine, because there was a clear owner of the camp, this is not always the case. Some rope swings are located on state property such as parks, while others are located on private property but have become popular through word of mouth—even though using it without permission could be considered trespassing. Many rope swings are located around bodies of water in or near densely wooded areas that can make it difficult to determine property lines, adding an even greater challenge to determining liability. Often an experienced attorney is needed to determine on whose land an injury actually occurred and whether or not there is a viable case.
While some states have indicated that rope swings are open and obvious dangers, South Carolina has been more hesitant to classify rope swings as such, instead relying on general principles of trespass and negligence to determine liability.
Landowners in South Carolina owe no duty to trespassers. However there is still a duty to children under what is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine that has been carved out as an exception under South Carolina law. An attractive nuisance is something that may cause a landowner to be held liable for personal injury to children who trespass if the injury is caused by something that would lure children to the property. This could include things like swimming pools, slides, and rope swings.
Finding legal help for a rope swing accident
Whether you have suffered a rope swing injury or if your child has been hurt in a rope swing accident, it is important to contact a South Carolina personal injury attorney at the Solomon Law Group right away. If you have been injured by a rope swing, call us today for a free consultation on your case.