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As California begins to open up from the Corona Virus pandemic, people will return to outdoor recreation and sporting activities. In doing so, there is always a chance for injury as either a spectator or participant. If and when any injury were to occur, there is a good chance that the party causing the injury will claim the injured party “assumed the risk” of that injury.

Assumption of the risk is a defense available for most personal injury and negligence lawsuits. The defense will claim that the injured plaintiff knew of the risk, but continued, knowing there was a chance of injury – – basically, accepting the risk. This is referred to as primary assumption of the risk which generally operates as a complete bar to recovery of damages. Assumption of the risk applies not only to the express written agreements, but also to spectator sports, active sports, recreational activities, and in workplace-related activities.
All this being said, if the conduct of the defendant is outside the range of the ordinary activity, and if that conduct increased the risk of injury or harm, above and beyond those risks inherent in the activity, the defense of assumption of risk may not apply. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Finally, someone who inflicts an injury or damage in spectator or active recreational activities is not responsible for injury that was “merely accidental, careless or negligent.”

If you sustain an injury, the attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are available for free consultation and representation of your claim for injuries and damages. Contact our office at your convenience.

Dennis Stout is a native Californian with significant ties to the Inland Empire, where he continues to reside. A graduate of Upland High School, the University of California, Riverside (B.S. Economics), and the University of La Verne (J.D.), Mr. Stout has practiced law continuously since 1979. He has been married to his wife, Alicia (R.N., C.E.N., M.I.C.N.) since that same year, and they have three adult children, all of whom live in Southern California. View Attorney Dennis Stout's Attorney Bio Here.

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