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Property was divided over 30 years ago, granting ‘egress/ingress’ only on the
deeds. This was for a dead end private road to access the other lots. Properties
runs north south, road runs east to west and dead ends. Can the owners of the
first lot east side use the entire road for recreational purposes? Snowmobile,
4×4 etc. Who is responsible for injuries/damage if they use the road?

Asked on April 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) To fully understand rights under the easement (the right, on the deed[s], for others to access the property--the road--for access to their own properties), you need to have an attorney review the specific deed language with you. That said, as a general matter, if the other property owners were given access only for ingress/egress, that would NOT include the right to use the road for recreational purposes; easement rights are limited to the purposes for which they are granted.
2) A property owner is liable for injuries on his/her properties only if they result from dangerous conditions of which he or she was aware but, despite being aware of them, did not address.The property owner is  not liable for accidents or injuries not his/her fault, but which are, for example, the result of careless driving by others. 
Example: say there is deep divot in the road, which could crack axle or cause a crash: if the property owner is aware, or reasonably/logically should be aware, of it and does not fix it, he/she would be liable for any resulting injuries/damage. But if instead a snowmobiler or ATV'er was driving fast or recklessly, the property is not  liable; the property owner does not "insure" people who use the property against all injuries or damage.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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