What You Need to Know About Liability Waivers
Almost every amusement park, gym, stadium, concert venue, and event in Los Angeles has some form of liability waiver that guests must sign before entering the premises. While you may think nothing of them, these legal documents can become very important if you are injured. In that case, you might assume that a waiver automatically removes your right to file a premises liability claim, but not necessarily. You may have more options than you think.
Premises Liability Laws in California and Ordinary Negligence
Business and property owners always have a responsibility to make sure their properties are safe and free of hazards. If a property owner is aware that there is a safety issue – or reasonably should have been aware of one – and failed to fix the issue or warn guests of the danger, leading to a guest being injured, then they can be found liable in a premises liability claim. Oftentimes, these claims are based on a legal concept called “ordinary negligence,” which means a property owner caused a guest’s injuries due to carelessness or inattention to the state of the property.
Most guests – and even business owners – falsely believe that a liability waiver completely shields a business from liability. However, most liability waivers only protect property owners from claims based on ordinary negligence or assumed risks. For example, guests at amusement parks should assume that there is the risk of minor back and neck pain after going on multiple roller coasters. Or, if a guest at a gym tripped on a barbell, the gym would probably not be found liable, as it could be considered a case of ordinary negligence – barbells are likely to be found on the floor of many gyms.
But liability waivers do not prevent claims based on gross negligence.
What Is Gross Negligence?
While ordinary negligence may involve a business failing to take reasonable care of a premises, gross negligence refers to more serious situations. Gross negligence is when a property owner takes an extremely unreasonable risk that is likely to cause an injury.
Gross negligence can include:
- Using unsafe chemicals to clean a swimming pool
- Hosting a festival, concert, or event in an unmaintained or poorly designed building
- Not having basic safety features, such as sprinklers, fire exits, and fire extinguishers
- A lack of security in a place known for its high crime rates
If you were injured due to a property owner’s gross negligence, a Los Angeles court may overrule any liability waiver you signed and award you compensation for your injuries. But first, you will have to thoroughly investigate the premises, review the terms of the liability waiver, and collect witness statements on your accident. A skilled L.A. premises liability attorney can guide you through the process and handle all the legal stuff so that you can focus on recovering.
Discuss Your Case in a Free Evaluation
A liability waiver can complicate a premises liability claim, or trick guests into assuming they cannot receive compensation for their injuries. But you should not give up hope. Our team at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, can sit down with you in a free consultation and review the wording of the waiver. Our Glendale personal injury attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experienced and have recovered over $125 million for our clients. If you were injured due to a negligent property owner, we can fight for your right to full compensation.
To get started on your case, call Aghabegian & Associates, PC, at (818) 507-4311 today.
Fill out the form below to request your free consultation to discuss your options.
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Call (818) 507-4311 to learn more.