When Decisions Matter.


What Does It Mean When I Sign a Liability Waiver?

Summer vacations spent scuba diving, hang gliding and rock climbing are surely adventures to remember. Take caution, however. Emergency rooms see adult trauma cases jump 25 to 30 percent in the summer months. Among children, traumatic injuries double.

Some of these injuries, such as lawn mower accidents, grill burns, and falls from a ladder occur at home. Others, however, take place while participating in riskier activities, such as riding rides at an amusement park, swimming at a public pool, at a concert, or on a rope course.

If you become injured during a summer activity, it is important to understand your rights, even if you have signed a liability waiver.


I signed a liability waiver; am I solely responsible for my injury?

Not necessarily. You might be presented with a liability waiver participating in risker activities — these are often seen at ski resorts and gyms. The requirement that a liability waiver is signed before a business allows you to participate is meant to protect the business. However, there are some circumstances when you might not be aware of what you are signing or you might not understand the terms. Additionally, these terms might not be enforceable from a public policy standpoint. In these instances, you might have reason to make a claim that the business is responsible for damages such as pain and suffering of the injury and treatment associated with the injury, the cost of medical treatment and/or lost wages due to your injury.


I did not sign a liability waiver, but the venue says I’m still liable for my injury?

Concert venues, museums, movie theaters, amusement parks and just about anywhere else that requires a ticket, often has a liability waiver printed on the ticket stub. This non-signed waiver is designed to protect the venue from liability. As you might imagine, however, most attendees are unaware of the waiver on the ticket stub; and, therefore, do not understand the terms when they entered the venue.

Another example of a non-signed liability waiver would be a posted sign detailing risks associated with where you are or what you are doing. For example, at the hotel swimming pool, there might be a sign noting the deck is slippery when wet. Another example is in a parking garage, there may be a sign that states the owner is not responsible for any damage done to your vehicle or items stolen out of it while parked in the garage. The waiver of liability contained in the sign may not be enforceable.

To understand your rights, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as you have been injured. A personal injury attorney can help guide you through next steps and determine who is at fault, even if you signed a liability waiver. Contact Stock and Leader’s Personal Injury team today.

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