Assumption of Risk Explained

If you have been injured, believe your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, and are pursuing a lawsuit, it’s important to know about the different types of defenses the other side may try to use. One of those is a legal concept known as “assumption of risk.” 

Picture this: You decide to take part in an extreme sport like bungee jumping or paragliding. You’re asked to sign a waiver and/or release provision before participating and do so willingly. However, the guide does not have proper training, makes a mistake, and you’re injured as a result.

Or maybe consider this: Your dog escaped its leash and you entered a dilapidated, abandoned property to retrieve him. You disregarded signs that said, “No trespassing,” or “Enter at your own risk.” Something about the state of the premise injured you — perhaps you fell through a shaft in the ground or got severely cut by a piece of junk metal.

These are both cases where the defendant may use assumption of risk as an affirmative defense in the law of torts if you end up raising a negligence action. 

“Assumption of risk” means that the person who was injured knew that he or she was putting him- or herself in a dangerous situation and did so voluntarily. The defense is essentially saying that you made the choice to take a chance and that isn’t their fault. If they can prove their case, you could be prohibited from seeking damages. 

To successfully prove assumption of risk, the defense will need to show two things. First, they must show that you had knowledge of the risk involved. This could be demonstrated by the presence of a waiver or the presence of “Enter at your own risk” signs. Secondly, the defense will need to show that you accepted the risk. This may mean signing a waiver, but could also simply be a matter of implying acceptance of the risk through your words or actions. 

Who can help me prove that there was no implied assumption of risk in my case?

If you think the party you are suing might use an assumption of risk defense, you will definitely need a lawyer’s help to fight it. In fact, you should partner with an experienced personal injury attorney any time you are dealing with any type of negligence lawsuit, no matter what type of defense you anticipate from the other side. An attorney can protect your rights and help you get the most compensation possible for what you have been through. Are you ready to get started or curious about learning more? If so, contact Sutton Law Group today. You can reach us at (305) 667-4481.

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Sutton Law Group

Sutton Law Group is a full-service, multidisciplinary law office serving clients in and around Miami, Florida. Established in 1985, we are trusted legal advisors and advocates in complex and even life-changing legal actions.

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