Tacoma, WA asked in Personal Injury for Oregon

Q: If a neihbor on our HOA property rides a bike with no helmet and gets injured can the HOA and/or we be sued?

My house is part of a condo HOA and sometimes the kids from the neighboring apartments come over to play with my kids. They will often ride their bikes around the parking lot. But my wife and I are concerned because they do not have helmets. So if they are riding their bikes on the HOA property and they fall and get a head injury can the HOA and/or we be held liable because we did not make them wear helmets? This is in Portland, OR.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Premises liability is very complicated. The best thing you can to is to make sure you have good home owner's insurance and high policy limits. Oregon law requires children to wear helmets but it is really up to the parents to enforce this. You are not liable for what children do or the parents do. You might be liable for hazards on your property that cause someone to have an accident. So if there are cracks in the pavement which cause a bicycle crash - you could be liable for the cracked pavement and the resulting bicycle crash but the failure to wear a helmet would be contributory negligence on the part of the child and their parents.

As the property owner you could just make a rule that there is no bicycle riding on your property unless helmets are worn. Tell the children they need to walk their bicycles when they are on your property if they aren't wearing helmets. Go and talk to their parents. I guess if they won't comply your only recourse is to say they can't come over.

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