Liability waivers are extremely common. You have probably signed hundreds in your life! Have you ever belonged to a gym? Chances are, when you signed up for your membership, you signed a waiver. Participated in a daring activity like skydiving or bungee jumping? You signed a waiver ahead of time. Even something as simple as renting a car or a boat comes with a waiver. Before signing a waiver, it is essential to know what you are signing. Too often, people skim through the document, sign their name, and have no idea what they signed for. This can be dangerous, especially if someone ends up getting injured. A signed liability waiver makes personal injury lawsuits more complicated – not impossible, but more challenging. If you have signed a waiver but think you deserve compensation for an injury, contact a personal injury lawyer in Macon, Georgia, for help.
What is Included in a Liability Waiver?
A liability waiver releases a company or organization from any liability should you get hurt. For example, if you hurt yourself by lifting weights at the gym, you won’t be able to sue for personal injury damages due to the liability waiver you signed when you joined.
A liability waiver will include a spot to fill out information about yourself. This typically includes name, date of birth, address, email address, phone number, etc. Next comes the legal language. In this section, the waiver places the liability on the participant. Usually, it mentions that the participant assumes the risk and that the organization is free from responsibility should a death, illness, injury, etc. occur. At the end, the participant will sign and date the waiver, making it legally binding.
What Do I Need to Know Before I Sign?
It is critical that participants always read through a waiver in its entirety. While it may seem pointless and repetitive, it’s important to understand what you are signing. If you read the waiver and feel uncomfortable with the language, you should think twice about the activity you are about to do.
First, the waiver needs to be easy to read. This means the font is a sufficient size and color. Additionally, the waiver shouldn’t have tiny blocks of text that are impossible to read. Also, waivers are for adults only. Children under the age of 18 should never be allowed to sign a waiver for themselves. If your child participates in an activity that requires a waiver, make sure there is a spot for the parent or guardian to sign.
The document should adequately disclose risk and what you are responsible for as a participant. Lastly, if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, do not sign the waiver! Substances can significantly affect your understanding of the language in the waiver.
Injury and a Signed Waiver – Trust a Personal Injury Lawyer in Macon, Georgia to Help
What happens if you sign a waiver and then get hurt participating in the activity? Many people believe they have no grounds to sue. After all, they did sign a waiver taking on risk and releasing the company/organization from liability. This is not always true! There are many times an injured party can sue for personal liability damages. It all depends on the situation and details surrounding the case.
For example, if you go bungee jumping, it is assumed that the employees are well-trained and will perform the standard safety measures. An employee wasn’t properly trained and didn’t hook you up properly, leading to a horrible accident. Even if you signed the waiver, you have grounds to sue. A signed waiver does not give the company the right to be negligent.
Here’s another example: imagine you sign a waiver at the gym. There is something wrong with the railing on the stairs, and the gym owners knew about it but didn’t make the necessary repairs. You lean up against it and fall, causing you to sustain injuries. Again, even though you signed a waiver, this doesn’t give the right for the gym to be negligent.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Macon, Georgia
If you have been injured and are looking to sue but also signed a liability waiver, don’t be discouraged. There are many circumstances where a company or organization can be found liable even with a signed liability waiver in place. A personal injury attorney will look at the waiver you signed. They will analyze the language and clarity. Next, they will analyze the circumstances surrounding the accident. If there was negligence, you have the right to sue. If your child signed a waiver without your permission and they got hurt, you have the right to sue.
Liability waivers are not always black and white situations; there are a lot of gray areas that leave room for lawsuits in specific situations. Reynolds, Horne & Survant are personal injury lawyers in Macon, Georgia. We have experience defending numerous clients who have suffered personal injuries.
An Attorney Can Help!
Next time you sign a liability waiver, think twice before quickly paging through the document and signing. Make sure the language is clear and that you know what you are signing. Also, read every word on the paper and never sign something under the influence of a substance. If you have a kid participating in an activity, the waiver should have a spot for a parent/guardian to sign. The liability waiver isn’t always the be-all and end-all. You can still go to court over an injury. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to go to court and receive compensation for losses related to your injury. If you or a loved one have been injured after signing a waiver, contact Reynolds, Horne & Survant, a personal injury lawyer in Macon, Georgia, today.