If you choose to do something dangerous, it’s possible you have assumed the risk of injury.
Accidents happen every day, and in many different ways. In most cases, accidents are the result of one person’s negligent or reckless behavior, such as in car crashes where one driver’s inattention leads to a collision. If a person, business, or other organization is responsible for an accident, then the injured person can often recover damages through a lawsuit. But there are cases where a person’s own actions can prevent them from recovering.
Assumption of Risk
The assumption of risk doctrine can serve as a defense in a personal injury lawsuit. What it means is that the person who was injured assumed the risk of being injured. In other words, the injured person knew something was dangerous and chose to do it anyways, despite knowing the risks. Because the injured person disregarded the risks of an activity, he or she cannot recover damages for their injuries.
If a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit chooses to use this defense, then he or she will have to prove that the plaintiff (person who is suing them for their injuries) would not have been injured if he or she had not chosen to take a particular action. The theory is that because the plaintiff either knew or should have known that what they were doing could cause injury, then the plaintiff shouldn’t be able to recover money for those injuries.
In practical terms, this defense comes up most often when a person is participating in a type of sport that may lead to injury, such as football, rock climbing or skiing. Many of these activities require people to sign a waiver, which often will prevent a person from suing if they are hurt doing the activity. However, there are other times when there isn’t a waiver and the person is still said to have assumed the risk of injury. For example, consider a beach where the town has posted “No Swimming” signs. If a person chooses to ignore those signs and swim in the water anyways and gets hurt as a result, then the town could use the assumption of the risk defense if the person later files a lawsuit against it.
Assumption of risk may also include situations where a person is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing. This situation may arise in many contexts, such as a parent allowing a child to use playground equipment in a way that is not safe. If the way that the child uses it isn’t something that the owner of the playground could reasonably foresee, then they could claim that the parent assumed the risk of their child getting hurt by letting them use the equipment in that way.
Because the burden of proving that an injured person “assumed the risk” is on the defendant in a personal injury case, a skilled attorney can argue against the application of this defense to ensure that the injured party gets the compensation that he deserves for his injuries. That is why it is so important to hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to represent you — an experienced lawyer will know how to rebut this type of defense.
If you have been hurt in any type of accident, contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will aggressively pursue your right to compensation and will work hand in hand with you to put together the best possible claim. We offer free initial consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you!