Meaning Of “Assumption of Risk”

There are many circumstances that may result in a loss for a case long before the incident passes through the first stage of legal processes. These situations may include what is referred to as an assumption of risk.

This means the person that has been injured has been informed or is aware that there could be danger enough to become harmed in the process. Typically when this applies to a case the assumption of risk is a legal doctrine and may, in some cases, involve a document signed by the plaintiff in the claim. Because of the doctrine or paperwork, the person suing his or her friend or acquaintance has a much lower chance of succeeding.

Assumption of risk is usually used when the victim has been injured by outside forces such as an animal bite, hazardous circumstances on the grounds of a property and when someone gets on an amusement ride when he or she saw others riding the same item. The person that was injured in the accident assumed that there could be a possibility of harm even if it appeared to be safe. The incident that transpires was already known by the plaintiff, and the person that is being sued informed him or her that there was some danger in the situation. For animal attacks, this could be the notification that if the dog is provoked, he or she may attack. Knowing there are areas where injury could occur and they must be avoided is used as a defensive strategy. When the person gets on the amusement ride, he or she knows that there could be some damage to the body when going upside down, really fast or around obstacles.

Understanding Express Assumption of the Risk

The express assumption of the risk is when the victim of the incident has acknowledged that the situation could have included risk. He or she does so before the injury occurs, but there is an awareness of danger. This is usually detailed through a written contract so that it is legally binding. One such document is a waiver of liability used to ensure the participant of the possible dangerous activity has waived his or her rights of litigation away. Because the express assumption of risk is usually understood long before the injury occurs, these cases may become complicated. However, some of these events may include negligence or intentional harm against the victim. These could lead to litigation.

Another strategy that may be utilized to attempt to get out of the assumption of risk is to explain that the waiver was hidden in a contract so that the victim was not aware of what he or she was signing. This is used to show that the person was not adequately aware of the risk that was involved. Even with the signed waiver explicitly detailing how the victim waives his or her rights to litigation should injury occur, there are many instances where the individual attempt to sue the other party. Additional documentation may be necessary to ensure that the victim was well aware of potential hazards involved.

Understanding Implied Assumption of the Risk

When implied assumption of risk is part of the proceedings, no agreement or contract is involved. The person who may be harmed or was injured knew or knows that there is a risk he or she is exposed to in the activity. The person decides to participate despite the potentially dangerous event. This could be through a sports game, extreme leisure activities or when hunting aggressive game. The court is aware of the implied potential for hazards that could lead to injury to anyone included in the activity. However, when the dangers that the individual is subjected to are not part of the event, the assumption of risk no longer applies.

Liability and Damages

There are many suits where not just one party is responsible for damages. This means that there are multiple persons or entities liable. If the person that was harmed is partially accountable for the actions that lead to the injury, this could affect damages owed. It is important to seek a lawyer to ensure all possible compensation may be received when he injured person is not liable or responsible for anything. Additionally, when the assumption of risk is not included or has been placed in a contract that is intentionally misleading, a lawyer may ensure the documentation is thoroughly analyzed and the victim’s rights are protected.