In Staten Island, New Jersey, and Upstate New York, there are a lot of places to hike and camp. It can be great to experience the outdoors right in our backyard; as there are a number of great places to visit right outside of the city. The Greenbelt, the Appalachian Trail, and the Catskills are all great destinations for weekend trips, hiking outings, and long treks alike.  Camping and hiking are popular activities, but they can run the risk of danger and injury; sometimes more so than a traditional vacation that you spend in a hotel. But whether you are spending your days connecting with nature in an RV, a cabin, a tent, or under the stars, you should know your rights.

Waivers and Legal Protection

Many summer camps, tour groups, and campgrounds will require the signing of waivers before you are able to stay with them. Be sure to read through these before you sign them. You should be aware of what you are agreeing to, including rights you may be giving up while you are staying within that camp.  If you are camping within a private campground or with a tour group, those parties may be the ones responsible for an injury while you are hiking or camping. In State or National Parks, the caretakers of the land, or the parks department may be liable. Camps may be protected by the postings of certain rules within the camp. You should follow all guidelines set by park rangers and signs posted within the park. In the event of inclement weather, you should follow any safety guidelines that the camp provides; including evacuation rules, if needed.

If A Tree Falls In the Forest

Although very unlikely, the falling of a tree or branch can be the cause of serious injuries or even death. Campgrounds may be responsible for injuries caused by damaged, dead, or rotting trees falling on you or your equipment. If you see a tree that could potentially fall over, avoid it if you can, and notify a park ranger of its location if possible. Rangers and caretakers of the land should take care of any problem trees for the safety of campers.

National and State Parks

National and State Parks are protected lands defined by the government. They are preserved for public use and while there are safety measures in them, injuries can still occur. The park’s rangers and staff should be working to make safety precautions and and hazardous conditions known to visitors. Follow signs and guidelines set by rangers, and stick to trails in the back-country whenever possible.

Rescue Costs

A rescue team after a serious injury in the back-country can be a serious expense. If you need to be airlifted out via helicopter, the price on average can be upwards of $10,000; in addition to emergency medical care and hospital bills. Even search and rescue teams can end up costing you money. If the park, land owner, or tour group that you are with is liable for your injury, you may be entitled to compensation for rescue expenses as well. Seek Legal Counsel For over 25 years,we have been assisting people in the New York/New Jersey area with injury cases of all shapes and sizes; from Dog Bites to Hiking Injuries. Bite Back with D’Agostino & Associates, P.C. Call us at 1-888-245-2924 for a free consultation, or click here to contact us.