A Law Career

Dos And Don'ts Of Dealing With An Injury From A Neighbor's Backyard Rink

by Ruby Mckinney

If you live in a state with cold winters, you probably won't have to look very far to see a neighbor who has turned part of his or her yard into a skating rink. Outdoor skating rinks in yards provide hours of entertainment for neighborhood children, but they can occasionally be a risk to local residents. One type of issue that you could face is to be hit with a flying hockey puck while walking past the yard. Such an incident would likely be accidental, but it could still leave you with an injury that requires medical care. Consider these dos and don'ts of reacting to this situation.

Do: Take Photos Of The Scene

Photos are among the most important pieces of evidence in any personal injury suit. When you hire a personal injury attorney, one of the first questions that he or she will ask you is whether you obtained photos at the scene. You'll want to snap a series of shots with your smartphone, including your position relative to the house, the injury to your body, and the errant puck if it's sitting on the sidewalk or road near you.

Don't: Confront The Hockey Players

You'll understandably be upset after being injured by a puck from an outdoor skating rink, but there's little point in confronting the players on the rink. Likely, they'll approach you and offer some form of apology. Your best option is to minimize your interaction with the children instead of saying something that either escalates the exchange or that you later regret during the suit.

Do: Call 911 From The Scene

There might be a part of you that wants to leave the area immediately because you're upset and perhaps even a little embarrassed. However, if your injury needs medical attention, which is likely the case if you're later pursuing legal action, it's smart to call 911 from the scene. Doing so establishes a record of your location at the time of the incident, which adds credibility to your suit.

Don't: Talk Legal Action With The Parents

If the children's parents were home at the time of the incident, they'd likely hear the commotion outside of the house and investigate. Some parents will immediately worry about being the target of a lawsuit and may start to discuss this topic with you. For example, they might ask if you're going to hire an attorney, or they may even offer you something on the spot as an incentive not to take legal action. You should avoid talking about any legal matters with the parents.