Liability waivers are growing in usage and have become a part of a larger number of activities, regardless of whether the activity is dangerous or not. Some waivers are enforceable in the state of New York, and some are not. If you are injured after signing a waiver, reach out to legal counsel right away to discuss your options.
Many people think that after you sign a liability waiver, you are prohibited from pursuing legal action if you are injured. In reality, this all depends on your situation. Some companies associated with risky and dangerous activities make participants sign a liability waiver before they can engage in their services. If you are later injured while on the premises of the company in a way that does not involve the encompassed activity, a liability waiver will not prevent you from pursuing a personal injury action.
The other involved party will claim that you cannot bring legal action against them. Your personal injury lawyer is the best person to advise you about whether you can pursue a claim. Many companies, including gyms, might tell you that there are no legal remedies even though their waivers cannot be enforced.
A Long Island personal injury attorney can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our accident lawyers will examine the cause of your injuries and hold the parties who caused your accident responsible. Our dedicated lawyers have received over $4 billion in compensation for clients.
The Role of Liability Waivers
Liability waivers are contracts that release a person or company from liability for injuries caused by a certain activity or at a certain facility. Often, a person agrees to not take legal action for compensation later on if they are injured while participating in an activity.
New York’s General Obligations Law nullifies waivers from certain types of operations, which include:
- Amusement facilities
- Public pools
- Recreational facilities
The other condition is that an operator receives a fee to use a facility. If you pay a fee to use a facility and are injured, the resulting waiver is not enforceable. Remember, the business might claim that the facility was utilized for educational instead of recreational purposes or that an entity other than the individual who signed the waiver paid their entrance fee.
Companies sometimes argue that a facility existed for training instead of recreation. Organizations have utilized various strategies to get around New York’s statutes on liability, but an experienced attorney can help to protect your rights.
Why Companies Utilize Liability Waivers
The most common reason to use liability waivers is that companies want to protect themselves from claims involving injuries or harm that arises from accidents that occur while engaged in an activity. While these injuries might be physical, they can also involve financial ramifications or other conditions. Waivers often help to reduce a business owner’s liability.
Another common reason why companies utilize liability waivers is that they inform participants about the potential dangers involved with an activity. For people who are not willing to accept the risks of an activity, liability releases function as a helpful screening tool for an event. Releases can also allow a participant to decide whether the activity is a good idea or right for them before they decide to pursue it.
While a company wants as many individuals as possible to utilize their services, a small number of these people might not be suitable for that activity even if they are willing to spend money on the activity. These individuals might be frightened by the activity or upset by the dangers involved. In this sense, liability waivers are a good way to determine if a participant will have a positive experience while engaging in an activity. A company only wants guests that can actually be made happy by the company’s services.
Another reason to utilize a liability waiver is that insurance carriers often require you to have one of these waivers before they will insure your company. Liability waivers aid companies in protecting themselves so insurance carriers are likely to have to pay out compensation.
Liability waivers or release forms are a valuable type of risk management program. Some activities carry their own particular risks and utilizing a waiver helps to avoid risks from harming your company as the provider of the release.
Liability Waivers are Not Legally Binding
The answer of whether a liability waiver is enforceable is influenced by where you do business as well as with whom you engage in business. Waivers are often binding contracts provided that a party agrees to the release form by signing it and the release satisfies certain conditions. Courts tend not to like liability waivers that are not clear. That is because parties give up many rights by signing these agreements.
Minors and Liability Waivers
Under existing New York law, minors cannot sign their rights away by signing any contract. As a result, a liability waiver signed by a person below the age of 18 is automatically voided. If a parent signed a waiver, New York law still does not bind the waiver for situations involving a minor’s injury or death. Waivers that include either camps or schools including sporting events and recreational activities often come up in these situations.
Language in Liability Waivers
When the issue of waiver enforcement arises, what specific language is involved often plays a big role. Some companies utilize their lawyers to carefully craft the language of waivers to prohibit filing lawsuits. Many companies utilize standard “boilerplate” language that is not enforceable.
Even waivers that would be found enforceable in court do not exempt negligence based on an organization’s management. New York state law does not allow releases to override a person’s legal rights if injuries are caused by negligence.
Speak With an Experienced Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love was seriously injured as the result of another party’s negligence and a waiver is involved, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.