Is Legal Action Possible After Injury Despite Signing a Waiver?: Understanding Your Rights

Overcome personal injury waivers with The Dressie Law Firm

Learn whether you can pursue legal action after an injury, even if you’ve signed a waiver, with insights from The Dressie Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys.

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Personal Injury Liability Waivers and How They Affect Your Rights

Generally, people who are injured due to the actions of others or on premises controlled by others can file a personal injury claim and get monetary compensation from the at-fault party.

However, sometimes, people who participate in certain activities, like going to a gym or attending a sports event, are asked to sign a waiver document. This document usually states that the individual agrees not to hold the organization responsible if they get hurt. 

Victims of personal injury are often left with huge medical expenses and sometimes long-term disability requiring ongoing medical care. They could also lose their ability to earn a living due to their injuries. If you’re in this position, you might wonder, does signing a waiver eliminate an injured person’s right to pursue a personal injury claim?

While a waiver implies that you signed away your right to make a personal injury claim, there are circumstances in which a party will not be allowed to avoid personal injury liability regardless of the existence of such a waiver.

In such cases, it is important to seek legal help from experienced personal injury attorneys like those at The Dressie Law Firm. For now, please read on as we explore the conditions under which you might still have a case, even if you signed away some of your rights.

    When You Can Pursue a Personal Injury Claim Despite a Waiver

    Waivers, in the present context, are legal tools designed to protect businesses from lawsuits by having customers acknowledge and accept potential risks. 

    Essentially, waivers indicate an individual’s acceptance of personal responsibility if they sustain an injury while participating in the given activity. However, even though a waiver can affect a person’s right to a claim, it does not operate as a free pass to businesses that use it to absolve themselves of all responsibility in personal injury cases.

    Below are some of the circumstances in which a business or individual may be legally responsible for a personal injury claim despite a waiver:

    If the Waiver Is Invalid

    Generally, a liability waiver becomes a binding agreement when a participant consents to the terms. It outlines the risks involved in an activity, transferring some liability for injuries from the company to the participant.

    However, just like regular contracts, not all waivers can be enforced in court. To determine whether or not the waiver you signed is enforceable, it is important to examine the language used in the waiver document. Courts scrutinize waivers for fairness and legality, often refusing to honor clauses deemed to be contrary to public policy or an attempt to release the at-fault party from any and all forms of responsibility for their conduct. 

    Waivers must also be clear, comprehensive, and conspicuously communicated. For example, if the waiver’s language is confusing, it was signed in misleading circumstances, or was buried in an online form’s fine print, its validity may be questioned.

    A waiver that cannot be enforced cannot be used to restrict your right to pursue a personal injury claim.

    Waivers Signed by Minors 

    Children generally do not have the capacity to enter into a contract. As such, a waiver signed by a child is potentially invalid and cannot be used to restrict the child’s right to pursue a personal injury claim. 

    Duress

    If signed under duress, a waiver’s validity can be challenged.

    Gross Negligence or Wilful Misconduct 

    Most personal injury claims are based on the negligence of the at-fault party who, by their actions or omissions, caused the victim’s injuries.

    There are different levels of negligence: ordinary negligence and gross negligence. 

    Ordinary negligence is the failure to act with a reasonable level of care in given circumstances. Waivers often cover this level of negligence if the language is clear and consent is voluntary.

    Gross negligence, on the other hand, is a more severe form of negligence. It is regarded as a reckless disregard for the safety or reasonable treatment of others. It goes beyond simple carelessness or failure to exercise ordinary care and can be interpreted as a violation of an individual’s right to safety. 

    Waivers cannot protect a party from liability for gross negligence or wilful misconduct because it is against public policy to allow individuals or organizations to avoid liability for such serious misconduct. Allowing this would undermine the enforcement of standards of care and responsibility.

    For instance, if an amusement park waiver releases the park from liability for injuries, but an injury results from a known defect in a ride that the park ignored, the waiver is unlikely to be upheld because the conduct may be deemed gross negligence or wilful misconduct.

    Essentially, while waivers are designed to protect businesses by establishing informed consent regarding risks, they are not bulletproof shields against legal action. However, whether or not a waiver can be enforced or the extent to which it could affect your personal injury claim and compensation depends on the specifics of your case. 

    If you’re unsure how a waiver might affect your claim, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand your options for legal recourse as you fight to see that justice is being done.

    How The Dressie Law Firm Can Help

    At The Dressie Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of how waivers can affect personal injury claims and Georgia’s personal injury laws. With our extensive experience, we can provide valuable insights and help clarify the complexities surrounding your case.

    As personal injury lawyers, we can help.

    • Evaluate the details of the signed waiver and advise you on the appropriate course of action.
    • If the waiver you signed is questionable, we can help kickstart the personal injury claim process by filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim on your behalf. 
    • You’ll need evidence to succeed with your claim. We can assist you with gathering and organizing the evidence to strengthen your claim and increase your chances of success.
    • Many personal injury claims are resolved by the at-fault party’s insurance company. Dealing with an insurance company can be overwhelming. As skilled negotiators, we can handle the negotiations with the relevant insurance company on your behalf to ensure your insurance claim is taken seriously and you can get a favorable settlement.

    Our goal in each case we handle is to help our clients navigate the legal process without stress and guide them toward a positive outcome and the maximum compensation possible. No matter how bad or complicated your case might seem, we’d be glad to help you fight for the justice you deserve.

    Contact The Dressie Law Firm

    Have you signed a waiver but suffered an injury? Questions arise about the pursuit of justice and compensation despite such agreements. We understand that waivers present a formidable challenge, but they are not insurmountable.

    Our team at The Dressie Law Firm is adept at navigating the complexities surrounding personal injury cases involving waivers. Our personal and workplace injury attorneys have dedicated their careers to this field, fighting tirelessly for clients’ rights. With a reputation for success, our team has shown that experience matters when it comes to tipping the scales of justice.

    We are here to help. Our doors are always open for those seeking reparation for injuries sustained. If you are in such a position, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Let us assess your case and help you determine the next steps. 

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!