Individuals may face multiple instances in their lifetime where they’re compelled to sign a liability waiver before taking part in an activity or using a product. People who sign these releases often assume that this document legally releases the creator from any liabilities in the event that the signer is injured, but this is not always the case and enforcement is often dependent on a number of factors.
Those under the age of 18 cannot be held to the terms of a liability waiver because minors cannot legally be a party to a contract. If a child is injured, he or she has until two years after his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit in the state of Texas.
A general rule for those who are over the age of 18 is that liability waivers don’t eliminate the possibility of the victim filing a lawsuit in an attempt to seek damages. This depends on the language of the document. Even if a person has signed one of these waivers they should consult an attorney as soon as possible since there is only a two year window when a lawsuit can be filed. If you are in doubt, contact us. We offer a free case evaluation, so it does not hurt to ask if you have a case.
The language of the liability waiver is also something the courts take into consideration when determining its validity. Most states require that the language of waivers be plain and easily readable by the common person. If the language is difficult to understand or purposefully ambiguous, this may result in the document being void and unenforceable.
The text of the document must also be easily visible by any person who attempts to read it. This prevents document creators from adding small text that contains additional provisions to the waiver that are against the signer’s best interests.
Reason for Signing a Pre-Injury Waiver
The circumstances surrounding the signing are also of importance because the courts consider whether or not a person was unfairly compelled to sign the liability waiver. If a person chooses to sign the document in order to gain some nonessential benefit this may make the waiver more enforceable, but this doesn’t mean a lawsuit can’t still be filed.
Individuals who sign liability waivers should also be aware that these documents do not exclude defendants from negligence. Just because a person signs a liability waiver doesn’t mean defendants can then place the signer at risk of bodily injury. Defendants must still take all the necessary steps to ensure signers are safe and that the activity or product requiring the waiver is safe within reason.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Legal documents are difficult for most people to understand. If you have signed a pre-injury waiver and have been hurt, then you should contact a personal injury attorney today. Schedule your free case review by calling 713-222-1222.