Liability waivers are used frequently by businesses and property owners to avoid facing personal injury lawsuits if someone sustains an injury on their property. There are certainly times when waivers are warranted, but there are also times when waivers are used in a way that is not enforceable by law. Here, we want to discuss whether waivers of liability will play a role in a potential personal injury case in West Virginia.
What Is a Liability Waiver?
A waiver of liability is an agreement signed by one party in which they expressly acknowledge that they are participating in an activity that has certain risks. Often, we will see waivers of liability signed when a person participates in activities that have known risks, such as:
- Bungee jumping
- Renting dirt bikes or ATVs
- Trampoline parks
- Renting a car
- Renting a jet ski
A waiver of liability is designed to prevent any person injured while participating in these activities from holding the business owner or property owner liable for their injuries.
Does a Liability Waiver Mean You Can’t Sue?
In general, a waiver of liability will prevent an injury victim from filing a lawsuit against the business or property owner involved. However, waivers of liability are not absolute. These waivers are designed to prevent liability in the event an injury is caused by a known risk of the activity involved. However, it may still be possible to file a lawsuit against property owners or business owners in the event an injury occurs due to something completely unexpected or due to the careless or wrongful actions of the business or property owner.
For example, if a person is renting an ATV, and the ATV experiences a parts failure due to the business owner not properly inspecting or maintaining the vehicle, the accident could be caused by negligence on behalf of the business owner. In this case, the injury victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the ATV owner for negligence.
Additionally, there is often a dispute about whether the person who signed the waiver was made sufficiently aware of what the waiver actually said. In some cases, waivers of liability are hidden deep within contracts, leaving a person unaware that they even signed the waiver.
It is certainly possible to file a lawsuit for an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, even if a waiver of liability has been signed. It is important to ensure that a skilled personal injury lawyer thoroughly reviews the waiver of liability as well as the other facts and circumstances surrounding the case when working to determine the viability of a lawsuit.
When Is a Liability Waiver Valid in West Virginia?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. If you signed a waiver of liability and think that this may prevent you from recovering compensation, you need to work with an attorney as soon as possible. At Tiano O’Dell, our qualified and experienced West Virginia personal injury lawyers are here to help. Our goal is to investigate every aspect of your claim so we can help you secure any compensation you are entitled to, including coverage for your medical bills, lost income, payments suffering losses, and more. For a free consultation, you can contact us online or call (304) 720-6700.