When and who you can sue for injuries suffered on a climbing wall
Rock climbing is a thrilling sport that offers the opportunity to get great whole-body exercise in beautiful outdoor settings. However, rock climbing sites are often quite remote, and getting there can be a challenge. That’s where climbing walls come in. Climbing walls have made the sport accessible to all levels of athletes and helped generate a surge in interest in the sport in recent years.
A climbing wall is safer than rock climbing in the wild, because it is a controlled environment where all of the anchor points for your safety gear are already installed. Nonetheless, accidents can and do happen. Falls are probably the most serious type of accident that can happen at a climbing wall. Depending on the distance fallen, victims may be left with catastrophic injuries including broken bones, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury at a climbing wall, you may be wondering when—and who—you can sue for your medical expenses and other damages. There are two important questions to ask in this situation:
Who Caused Your Climbing Wall Accident?
If you had an accident due to your own negligence, you do not have a case. After all, you can’t sue yourself. But if your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim.
For example, perhaps the property owner failed to keep the climbing wall in safe condition, and you fell when a foothold popped out of the wall under your weight. Or perhaps an employee failed to secure your safety gear properly, so that the rope didn’t catch you gently when you slipped off the wall. In these sorts of situations, you may be able to sue the property owner.
Injuries can also be caused by a defect in the climbing wall or your climbing equipment. This could be a defect in design, manufacturing, or safety warnings. This could create an opportunity for a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
Did You Sign a Waiver?
Many gyms and other climbing wall operators require climbers to sign a liability waiver before gearing up and tackling the wall. They want you to assume that by signing the waiver, you are signing away your ability to sue them for any injuries you may suffer. This isn’t necessarily the case. Historically, courts have mainly enforced waivers that cover negligence, not ones that cover total liability or intentional acts on the part of a facility or its employees. This means that if you are hurt, it is a good idea to request a copy of the waiver you signed and show it to an experienced personal injury attorney for advice about the possibility of pursuing a claim.
Call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker for Help
If you’ve been hurt at a climbing wall or at any other type of sports or recreational facility, and you believe your injury was not your fault, you may have a case for compensation. Contact us at 800-333-0000 to learn more during a free initial consultation.