While safety is something that we value in our daily lives, we take on risk whenever we participate in fun leisure activities. From playing a softball game to riding a rollercoaster at a theme park, we embrace risk during these activities for our enjoyment. While these ventures can make for great memories, they can also be dangerous and leave you with an injury.
Due to the inherent danger these activities pose, many businesses make patrons sign liability waivers to absolve themselves of any harm you may encounter.
While liability waivers are a way to discourage legal action after an injury, they aren’t perfect and don’t altogether remove the ability for you to pursue a personal injury case. If you’ve been injured after signing a liability waiver, keep reading to learn more.
How Do Liability Waivers Work?
Liability waivers, also known as release forms, act as a legal contract between you and the business that gave you the waiver. Whenever you sign this document, you assume the risk of the activity.
Businesses write these forms to warn and inform individuals of the dangers they could face by participating in the activity.
What Factors Affect the Validity of a Liability Waiver?
Do liability waivers hold up in court?
The short answer, yes; liability waivers usually hold up in court. However, the circumstance of your injury, the waiver’s language and state law can affect how a release form lasts. Many states allow liability waivers to use exculpatory language or language that waives an individual’s right to be compensated for injuries from participation.
Unlike a warning sign, which would not protect the defendant in a personal injury case, a liability waiver ensures that the patron had a chance to read all of the risks before participating.
What about electronic signatures?
Electronic signatures are enforceable and regarded as legitimate as a physical waiver. Most companies will keep a record of your e-signature along with a “paper trail” of evidence such as your email address, timestamp of signature or the IP address used to prove that you were the individual who signed the waiver.
How long do liability waivers last?
That is dependent on the wording of the waiver. For most releases, the individual assumes responsibility during the time of participation. Close inspection by an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine how long the waiver lasts.
Can I Pursue a Case?
While a liability waiver can make a personal injury case challenging to pursue, it isn’t impossible. Here are a few circumstances where you could file a personal injury case:
- The release form is ambiguously worded or unclear
- The company didn’t uphold a reasonable safety standard while you were participating
- The waiver isn’t readable or is difficult to read
- You didn’t sign the waiver
Remember, a waiver shouldn’t protect a company if they aren’t attempting to uphold a reasonable safety standard. If you were injured after signing a liability waiver due to gross negligence or a misleading liability waiver, contact the attorneys at Tolbert Beadle. We will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve.