A fun day out with family and friends can turn into tragedy in an instant due to unfortunate accidents. Sadly, the family may not receive compensation for injuries and damages sustained if they signed a pre-injury release or waiver.
Pre-injury releases and waivers can free the company or host of any responsibility. They are used at, but not limited to, bounce houses, paintball courses, or indoor parks. Companies may also use them for electric scooter rentals, race participation, or sporting events. Essentially, they can be used for any activity where injury or damage could occur.
What are pre-injury releases and waivers?
These are documents detailing a party’s abandonment of certain rights. They are contracts in which activity participants agree not to sue the organizer or business owner if they are injured.
Are pre-injury waivers and releases valid contracts?
Whether or not the waivers and releases are valid depends on factors regarding ordinary or gross negligence.
- Ordinary negligence is unintentional negligence. It usually involves an unsafe condition that is beyond the owner or provider of the activity’s control. In short, they would not have been able to correct the issue even if they had made the activity as safe as possible.
- Gross negligence is due to a willful disregard for a participant’s safety. This can happen when the activity provider is aware of the hazard but does nothing to correct it.
The language and its intent to relieve the company of all liability of the release or waiver must be clear. It cannot violate any state law or policy. Furthermore, the participant must sign the waiver.
Are releases and waivers legal in Alabama?
Pre-injury waivers and releases may be enforceable in Alabama depending on the language. However, they are not enforceable against youth under the age of 19 in Alabama. Alabama law states that minors cannot enter contracts even if a parent or guardian signs it as well.
If you’ve been injured after signing a liability waiver or release, you should first seek medical help for the injury. Not only does this protect your long-term health, but it also allows a doctor to document your injuries.
This documentation can help with future claims of compensation for injuries. It is essential to then seek an experienced attorney who can review the language of the pre-injury waivers and releases. This will ensure your rights are protected.
If you or a loved one has been injured after signing a waiver or release, please contact the experienced attorneys at Timberlake & League. We can help.