Are Liability Waivers Ironclad?

By Peter DePaolis

Many recreational activities involve a certain risk of injury. Operators of recreational equipment, like amusement park rides, usually have people sign a liability waiver. The liability waiver intentionally relinquishes or abandons a legal right or claim against the operator in the event of injury. Essentially, it says you accept the risk and agree not to sue if you suffer injury.

If you or your child suffers injuries at an amusement park, in a rented bounce house, or in any other equipment or facility and you fear a liability waiver limits your recovery, it might not be the case. There are many instances where a liability waiver might be invalid, including:

  • Where parents have signed waivers and then did not remain on-site when their children went on the ride.
  • If the equipment was not properly set up. Once negligence is proven, the court usually negates the validity of the waiver.
  • In cases of rentals, if the waiver was only signed by the owner of the site on which the equipment was set up and not the individual parents.
  • If the waiver was signed by people who were not related to the children and are therefore not authorized to sign, such as chaperones, teachers, group leaders, etc.
  • If it can be shown that the signature was requested in such a way that the signatories did not know exactly what they were signing.

Have you suffered a personal injury after signing a liability waiver? Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP

Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Approved by attorney Justin Beall

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.