Summer at the cottage is full of exciting and fun activities.
Swimming, boating, roasting marshmallows by the campfire and
fishing, to name a few of these activities, all provide lasting
memories for friends and family. That being said, precautions must
be taken to ensure your family and visitors are safe while on your
All watercraft should be insured. A standard
policy which applies to cottages does not cover watercraft. As
well, there are various distinctions between the types of
watercraft to be insured and to what extent. Often this is
expressed in terms of jet ski type craft or boat, and by engine
horsepower. If you have any of these watercraft at your cottage,
contact your insurance broker and advise them of the exact details
of the watercraft so as to obtain the appropriate insurance
coverage. Always wear lifejackets when using
Swimming is not generally thought of a
dangerous pastime, but drowning is a serious risk. Many injuries
also occur from diving into the lake. Ensure that all of your
family and visitors are well aware of the water depths around the
cottage. Be mindful that if your cottage is on water that has a
tide or dams, that the water can and does, without notice, lower or
raise which creates serious risk of injury. Deeper water creates
greater risk of drowning and shallow water when diving. Signs on
your property and deck stating NO DIVING in such
areas might prevent injury.
Campfires are lots of fun and a tradition at
cottages. Be sure the fire pit is properly constructed. You can go
online for tips on how to construct one. The ground underneath must
not be flammable. It should be a pit of sand and the area ringed
with rocks. The fire should be contained in the pit and you need to
be cautious not to allow the flames to get too high. The pit should
not be in an area around overhanging trees. Never pour flammable
liquid on a fire, even to start it. Never have a fire when the
ground is too dry and in particular when there are fire alerts in
effect. Of course you should sit well back from the fire so that
you do not singe yourself and there should not be any horseplay in
Many activities go on at cottages such as
hunting, fishing, fireworks and hiking. Guests are often unfamiliar
with the activity and equipment as they are "city
dwellers". Precautions and supervision need to be taken, as
well as warnings when undertaking these activities with
inexperienced users. Guns should only be used with experienced
adult supervision. Never point a gun at a person. When fishing, be
mindful of hooks when casting. Directions should always be read and
followed when using fireworks. When hiking be wary of the presence
of bears and always stay on trails. One must always pay close
attention to what they are doing and be aware of the location of
other participants when doing activities.
In my legal practice I have seen all manner of injuries that can
occur. Some predictable and other not so obvious. Going to the
cottage can be very fun, but it is full of potential dangers. You
can avoid injury to yourself, family and friends, by being extra
cautious, and providing instruction and supervision. You can avoid
liability by having appropriate insurance on your cottage to cover
the types of activities that go on at your cottage. Have a safe and
good memory filled summer.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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