Waivers are everywhere! Whether you’re going to a water park, enjoying a day on a ropes course, doing your daily workout at the gym, or riding a pedal tavern in downtown Nashville, you’ll likely have to sign a waiver. But what if you get hurt? Does the waiver take away your right for compensation? Is the business responsible for your injury even though you signed a waiver?
It’s important that we do what we can to avoid injury. In situations where injuries are more likely, we are responsible for making smart choices. Even when we are making educated decisions, there are times when an injury occurs that isn’t the result of a mistake we made. In these circumstances, you could have a case. At Bart Durham Personal Injury Law an attorney will talk about what your rights are if you are injured in Tennessee after you sign a waiver.
What is the Purpose of a Liability Waiver?
A liability waiver is essentially a document that a member or participant signs, relinquishing all specified claims. When signed, the participant “waives” their right to sue in the event of injury. Many worry that by signing a liability waiver they are no longer entitled to file an injury claim, but this is not true.
You can file a claim, and the court will decide if the liability waiver is valid and if it releases the business from liability in your case. For example, in a case where an employee of a gym was acting intentionally reckless, or grossly negligent, and someone got hurt, the gym cannot use the waiver to get out of paying for medical bills or damages. However, if the gym was not shown to be intentionally reckless, or grossly negligent, then the waiver most likely will stand and the case could be dismissed. There is also a possibility for filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product, such as a weight machine in a gym, based on the premise of a faulty product.
Have You Been Injured After Signing a Liability Waiver?
What are Your Rights if You are Injured after Signing a Waiver?
The first step in a case with a liability waiver is proving the waiver was invalid. This can be done in a few ways:
- If the waiver was ambiguous, it may be invalid. The language must be clear and the participant has to understand what they are sacrificing by signing the waiver.
- The waiver must be specific. The language of the liability waiver must specifically limit liability and reflect the agreed upon terms.
- If the waiver contains any hidden parts designed to be overlooked by the participant the waiver may be invalid.
- For the waiver to protect certain parties from being sued, it must address each and every party. That being said if there was a party that had a hand in your injury that was not addressed you may have a claim.
Your attorney will work with you to see if you have a case, even after signing a waiver. Once engaged, they will work to prove that the liability waiver was invalid and to seek compensation for medical expenses and/or damages.