How Assumption of Risk Can Become A Defense For A Personal Injury Claim

Most everyday tasks have not been linked to a decided level of risk. Yet the operators at certain entertainment facilities do understand that their customers favor fun over shying away from a risk. Those operators give their customers the chance to enjoy some dangerous thrills.

For instance, there are places where someone can pay to take part in an activity such as bungee jumping or exiting a plane by jumping out, while wearing a parachute. Normally, anyone that cares to take part in such an activity must sign a waiver. Sometimes the signature on that waiver gets used in a defense to a personal injury claim.

What function does such a waiver serve?

The signature on that waivers shows that the signing customer has received a warning. He or she has been properly informed, regarding the dangerous nature of the activity in which the facility’s customers have a chance to participate. The operator hopes that the signature on that waiver will remove any possible concerns about being held liable for any harm that might be suffered by the signing customer.

Does a signed waiver always remove the operator that puts customers at risk of all concerns, with respect to being held liable for a customer’s injuries?

No, it does not. A judge would not view a waiver as a suitable defense, if it contained confusing language. If the waiver’s words lacked a suitable level of clarity, a judge would refuse to give that paper any legal standing.

Furthermore, the Personal Injury Lawyer in Milton representing the plaintiff might show that the customer/client had been pressured to sign the paper that has a questionable legal standing. Perhaps that waiver had been thrust at the customer, with a demand that it be signed quickly. Evidence of such an action could be used to strengthen the argument for a cancellation of the waiver’s legal status.

Following a removal of the waiver’s legal status, an injured customer, someone that had signed that piece of paper would have the right to sue the facility that put customers at risk. In other words, the customer’s assumption of risk could no longer be used as a defense, if the operator were held liable for the customer’s injuries.

An added consideration

A customer that signs a waiver retains the right to insist on protection from known risks. Still, the customer’s signature does not excuse a facility from introduction of an added challenge. In other words, a facility that asks customers to accept a known risk cannot use a waiver as a defense, if a customer has been forced to face an unanticipated challenge. A sky diver faces a challenge, when relying on a parachute. That does not include acceptance of a torn-up parachute.