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Waiver of Liability

With the weather warming up and many people heading outdoors to participate in recreational activities, the subject of liability or responsibility for injury arises. In many activities, one must sign a liability waiver just to participate in the activity. In other activities, particularly spectator situations, a waiver is included in the price of admission and/or documented on the ticket purchased to enter or participate.

Generally, release of liability waivers will be enforceable if it is clear, unambiguous and explicit in its terms and conditions. The waiver can be enforceable as to “negligent acts,” but typically, will not include intentional or reckless acts, or injury caused by one’s gross negligence. Essentially, a waiver shifts the liability away from the business or activity to the participant.

In some types of activities, the signing of liability waivers are non-negotiable. . . either you sign or you don’t participate. You are giving up your right to sue for the negligent acts of others. This can include sports activities as well as spectator events, however, as to spectator sports, the waivers generally come with the purchase price.

Athletes and spectators as well, need to exercise diligence and due care, both in participation and watching sports. Prepare for your event; comply with rules and regulations; and question insurance for the location, and make sure your insurance applies to any given circumstances.

All this being said, prepare well and have fun. If you have suffered injury from outdoor activities with or without a signed waiver of liability, contact the attorneys at Heiting & Irwin for a free initial consultation.


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