What happens if you get injured but signed a waiver?

16/04/2019

Our team at Gordon Legal has represented thousands of individuals in their claim for costs associated with personal injuries. Often, when a liability waiver has been signed, this can create a lot of legal confusion. Here we have assembled some basic information related to personal injury claims sustained after you have signed a waiver in the hopes that this helps to clear up some of your confusion.

Do I retain any of my rights after I sign a liability waiver?

Yes.

There are a lot of ways you can incur a personal injury and some injuries can be sustained as a result of risky activity which you have chosen to undertake of your own free will. Often businesses offering services such as indoor trampoline facilities or bungee jump adventures will also have a liability waiver that you are required to sign before you undertake any activity with them.

As with a lot of services or products that we purchase, there are contracts and agreements concerning the terms and conditions of that service or product we have purchased. These terms and conditions are offered before, or at the time of, purchase and we are required to sign our acknowledgement of those terms and agreements.

However, just because you have signed your acknowledgement of risky activity you are choosing to undertake, does not mean that you automatically waive your rights for compensation if you sustain injuries related to that activity.

When do I know if I have the right to claim compensation from a business or service provider after I have injured myself with their equipment or on their premises?

If you have chosen to undertake a risky recreational activity such as attending an indoor trampolining facility, then chances are that you were offered a liability waiver before you were allowed to use the equipment inside the facility.

If you have attended this trampolining facility and signed this waiver stating that the equipment has been regularly serviced, the instructions are clear and every reasonable measure has been undertaken to make this service and experience as safe as possible, and then injured yourself, you still retain your right to claim compensation for that injury, depending upon how it occurred.

That liability waiver you have signed is likely to include clauses which protect that trampolining facility against the cost of injuries sustained by individuals who do not follow the rules and/or do not accept instruction before commencing their chosen activity. In short, the facility is protected against individuals who have injured themselves undertaking activities beyond the scope of those offered, or against the advice or direction of the proprietor of that trampolining facility.

The trampolining facility still has strict legal requirements imposed by Australian Consumer Law that it is expected to adhere to, which include an expectation that they provide their experiences or service with due care and skill. In a way, the waiver that you have signed protects both you and the trampolining facility. If your injury has been sustained due to negligence on the part of the trampolining facility, then you have a clear legal action to claim for compensation.

You should never assume that, in the first instance, you are not eligible to claim for costs associated with injury and illness sustained while undertaking a risky activity you have chosen to do, even when you have signed a waiver beforehand. If you are able, always collect as much information relating to your incident as possible. This might include photos of where it occurred, the liability waiver you have signed, the contact details of any witnesses who may been present at the time of the incident.

If you believe you have a claim for compensation, or you still aren’t sure of your right and entitlements because you signed a waiver, please contact our legal team on 1800 21 22 23 for advice and more detailed information.