You can experience an adrenaline rush from dangerous hobbies. Visiting trampoline parks, taking roller coasters, and skydiving is attractive, but they can be dangerous as well. Legally, it may prove challenging for an injured person to collect damages after participating in any of these activities.
Whether someone can be held responsible for an injury suffered while participating in a dangerous activity depends greatly on the law. The assumption of risk is based on legal theory, so it’s vital to understand it before participating in potentially hazardous activities.
What is the Assumption of the Risk?
The concept of “assumption of risk” might apply when someone gets injured while doing a dangerous activity. People who choose to engage in the dangerous activity are aware of the risks involved.
By assuming the risk, the injured party is prevented from holding the other party liable for their injuries since they knew what hazards they were going to face when they chose to engage in the activity.
Expression of Assumption of Risk
Express assumption of the risk” related to the scenario when an individual signs a waiver before engaging in harmful activity. In that scenario, the person participating in the activity explicitly admits that they are conscious of the risks.
A liability waiver is frequently signed by the person, stating that they accept to take part in the activity despite the known dangers. Although if you sign an express acceptance of risk agreement, you may still be able to sue in certain situations.
A waiver that a person signs before using a gym is an example of an express assumption of risk. The waiver often states that the user understands that utilizing gym equipment is a potentially hazardous activity. When a person signs it, they acknowledge that they are accepting the risk of being injured at the gym.
Even if you sign an express acceptance of risk document, you may still be able to file a claim in specific circumstances. In some situations, the individual requesting your signature on a waiver may expose you to a risk you were not expecting.
If you sign a waiver at a trampoline park, for example, the trampoline may be left with ripped netting and exposed springs. If you are injured, you may still be able to recover since the risk you committed is not the same as the risk the other person exposes you to.
Risk Assumption Implied
When a person intentionally engages in a harmful action, this is referred to as an “implied assumption of risk.” Despite the fact that no formal or informal contract has been formed, a person recognizes the danger and chooses to participate in the event regardless.
For instance, most people are aware that softball may be a dangerous sport. Even if they don’t sign a waiver, taking up the bat and ball to play in the game establishes an assumption that the individual engaging is aware that there is a possibility of injury.
What is the Primary Assumption of the Risk?
When “primary assumption of risk” applies, a person takes the danger despite the fact that the other parties involved have no responsibility for their safety. Attending a sporting event is a good illustration of this.
If you are injured by a foul ball, you cannot file a claim because you were aware of the possibility when you opted to attend the game. Typically, a victim’s principal assumption of risk prevents them from retrieving their losses.
What is Secondary Assumption of the Risk?
When “secondary assumption of the risk” applies, the second party owes the care to the participant in the activity, but the participant is aware of the risk and willingly accepts it. A woman who decides to go bungee jumping, for example, is aware that it is a risky activity.
But still, the company that is hired to go bungee jumping owes a duty of care to the person who participates. Despite someone else’s negligence or intentional act, a victim may still have a claim when the implied assumption of the risk applies.
Negligence Based on Modified Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence may allow you to recover even if you accept part of the risk when another party owes you a duty. The jury will consider the whole case in that situation.
A comparison is made between the other person’s negligence and your assumed risk. It is the jury that decides what compensation is fair for your injuries.
The Affirmative Defense
An affirmative defense in negligence law is the assumption of the risk. In other words, the defense has to raise it as part of its response to the claim. Even in the case of negligence, this type of argument will negate liability due to proof of negligence.
You must prove that you assumed the risk to the jury if they raise it as a defense. It is ultimately up to the jury to determine whether you assumed the risk.
Public Policy May Void the Assumption of Risk
In other circumstances, risk cannot be assumed. This is a factor to consider when it comes to emergency medical services and public education. You can’t rule out the possibility of intentional conduct. That is, even if you sign a disclaimer, someone else cannot intentionally harm you.
If you sign a disclaimer to jump in a trampoline park, the proprietor cannot intentionally install a sharp instrument under your trampoline to injure you. You can still file a claim if they do. You must also be able to give your consent. This may be the case if the injured person is a minor who is unable to lawfully sign a waiver or understand the hazards associated with the activity.
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