Are You Able to File an Injury Claim if You Signed a Waiver?
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Oct 22, 2023 in Personal Injury
Whether you are ziplining through the treetops, embarking on an adventurous rafting trip, or simply enjoying a leisurely day at your favorite Oregon recreational facility, you’ve likely encountered the ubiquitous document known as a waiver. It’s that seemingly innocuous piece of paper that businesses and organizations thrust upon us before we engage in activities that promise a thrill, a challenge, or a moment of relaxation. But what happens when the unexpected occurs, and you find yourself injured despite having signed your name on that waiver?
Fortunately, you may have some recourse, as the ink on that paper does not always absolve others of responsibility for their actions or negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured after signing a waiver, speak with a Rizk Law personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options during a complimentary consultation.
Waivers and Personal Injury Claims: What You Should Know
Waivers, also known as liability waivers or release forms, are common in many industries to protect businesses from legal liability in case of accidents. However, signing a waiver does not necessarily mean you have no legal options if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Before we delve into the specifics of injury claims involving waivers, it’s important to understand what waivers are and their general purpose. A waiver is a legal document that releases one party (usually a business or organization) from liability for potential injuries or damages that may occur while participating in a particular activity or using a facility. By signing a waiver, you acknowledge the risks associated with the activity and agree not to hold the other party responsible if you get injured.
Oregon’s Approach to Waivers
Oregon, like many states, generally upholds the validity of liability waivers if they meet certain criteria. In Oregon, for a waiver to be considered legally binding, it must be:
- Clear and unambiguous: The language in the waiver must be clear and unambiguous, making it evident you are releasing the other party from liability.
- Voluntary: You must sign the waiver voluntarily, without duress or coercion. Businesses cannot force customers or participants to sign a waiver.
- Applicable to the activity: The waiver must specifically pertain to the activity or circumstances that led to the injury. For instance, a waiver for accidents during a zip-lining adventure will not protect a business from liability if you slip and fall in their parking lot.
- Not against public policy: The waiver cannot violate public policy or attempt to release a business or individual from liability for gross negligence or intentional harm.
While waivers can offer businesses a degree of protection, they are not absolute shields against personal injury claims.
Exceptions to Waiver Protection
In Oregon, several exceptions may allow you to file a claim even if you signed a waiver. These exceptions include:
- Negligence: If the injury occurred due to the business’s or organization’s negligence and their actions were beyond what a reasonable person would expect, the waiver may not protect them.
- Unconscionable waivers: If the waiver was highly one-sided, contained hidden terms, or was otherwise unconscionable, an Oregon court may not uphold it.
- Failure to comply with statutory requirements: Oregon law may impose certain requirements on waivers in specific contexts, such as recreational activities involving minors. Failure to comply with these requirements can render the waiver invalid.
If you’ve been injured despite signing a waiver, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Oregon personal injury lawyer.
Seek Legal Counsel if You Were Injured After Signing a Waiver in Oregon
When you partner with a Rizk Law personal injury attorney, they will assess the specific circumstances of your case, determine whether the waiver you signed is enforceable, and help you pursue a personal injury claim if you have a valid legal basis.
Contact our experienced Oregon personal injury lawyers today to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Call (503) 245-5677 or fill out our contact form for more information about how we can help.