People participate in many physical activities, usually with an understanding of the associated risks and dangers. The activity could be mild, like riding in a go-kart or extreme, like bungee jumping or skydiving. It seems like everywhere you go, you’re being asked to sign a waiver to exclude someone from being sued.
An injury waiver, also known as a release and waiver of liability, frequently states that a participant cannot take legal action if they are harmed or injured in any way because of the activity. But is that it? Does a waiver prevent us from taking any action — no matter what has happened? Actually, the answer is no. You do have some rights.
A waiver, once signed, is a valid contract. However, in the state of Ohio, you cannot waive away a person’s rights from unforeseeable negligence. By signing, you are saying that you understand the risk and are agreeing to go forward with the activity anyway. You are not saying that you won’t sue if someone is negligent and causes you harm.
Another instance that may allow you to file a claim is an injury due to a defective product. If you were injured as a result of a defective product and the defendant knew (or reasonably should have known) about the defect, you may be entitled to money damages.
If you suffered an injury because of a normal risk associated with the activity, you probably don’t have a case. On the other hand, if negligence was involved, your injury probably wasn’t caused by any of the normal risks and you may have a valid claim.
To learn more about personal injury law, I encourage you to watch the video above and to explore our educational website at http://www.elkandelk.com. If you have legal questions, please call us at 1-800-ELK-OHIO. I welcome your call.
— Art Elk