Signing a waiver of liability could cause you to be unable to file a lawsuit for compensatory damages if you are injured in New Jersey.
A company might require you to sign a waiver of liability before engaging in a particular activity in New Jersey. By signing this waiver, you agree to give up your right to file a lawsuit if you are injured. Although these waivers are often upheld by the court, they can be thrown out in certain situations. For example, if you were pressured to sign the waiver or it goes against the company’s statutory obligations, you might still be able to file a lawsuit in New Jersey. Allow our attorneys to read over the waiver you signed and review the events of your incident to determine if you can sue or not.
To get a free and confidential assessment of your case from our New Jersey personal injury lawyers, call Legal Care now at (732) 838-9769.
Will a Waiver of Liability Be Enforced if I Was Hurt in New Jersey?
Waivers of liability are documents signed by participants, generally of high-risk activities, so that companies can avoid liability for any injuries sustained while a person is participating.
You might have knowingly or unknowingly signed a waiver of liability when engaging in a dangerous activity. Sometimes, these waivers are included in tickets, and by purchasing them, you agree to waive your right to sue if you are hurt. For example, suppose you go waterskiing down at the Jersey Shore. If you do so with a waterskiing company, the company will likely require you to sign a waiver of liability, showing that you understand the risk you are about to take by engaging in waterskiing and that you agree not to sue the waterskiing company if you are injured.
While waivers of liability can and often are scrutinized by the court, they are often upheld, even if a victim is injured because of the other party’s negligence. Only in certain circumstances will the court decide that a waiver of liability is not enforceable, permitting a victim to file a lawsuit in New Jersey.
Because there is no way to know whether or not a waiver of liability will hold up in court when you sign it, it is important to think very carefully before you do so. Suppose you are at substantial risk of injury by engaging in a specific activity and have waived your right to sue. In that case, you will be unable to recover compensation against the person or company responsible, provided they are included in the scope of the waiver.
When Are Waivers of Liability Not Enforced for Injuries in New Jersey
Waivers of liability can be subject to scrutiny from the court. Even if you signed a waiver, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the party whose negligence caused your injuries if certain conditions are met.
There have been many court cases in New Jersey and other states addressing waivers of liability and when they are enforceable and not enforceable. Our Jersey City, NJ personal injury lawyers can review the waiver you signed as well as the circumstances under which you signed the waiver to ascertain whether or not it will be upheld in court.
Issues related to public duty and unequal bargaining power might enable you to file a lawsuit despite having signed a waiver of liability. If a company has a legal duty to perform in a certain way, it cannot avoid liability for certain accidents. For example, a waiver of liability may not be upheld if it specifically includes possible incidents that a company or person is statutorily required to avoid. So, suppose a company has a legal duty to perform in a certain way or adhere to certain safety regulations. In that case, it cannot avoid liability by including accidents caused by its failure to perform its legal duty in a waiver.
If a victim was pressured to sign a waiver of liability before doing so, it might not be upheld in court. Furthermore, if a waiver of liability is procedurally unconscionable, it might be thrown out, enabling you to file a lawsuit if you were injured.
While many court cases have discussed liability waivers, Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises, LLC, Gershon v. Regency Diving Center, Inc., and Hojnowski v. Vans Skate Park are a major cases cited in these types of lawsuits in New Jersey.
If you signed a waiver of liability but were injured by another party unrelated to the waiver, you can file a lawsuit. For example, if you were injured while waterskiing because of another participant, you can sue them for compensation in New Jersey.
What to Do if You Signed a Waiver of Liability and Were Injured in New Jersey
While waivers of liability are often enforced in New Jersey, that is not always the case. Even if you signed a waiver of liability before getting injured, there are certain things you can and should do to help your case.
Start by reporting your accident to the necessary individuals and agencies. This might include the company that made you sign the waiver of liability and the police. You should also get medical attention for your injuries. Once you have completed these steps, contact our lawyers for assistance.
To gauge whether or not you will be able to sue despite having signed a waiver of liability, our attorneys will assess the conditions under which you signed the waiver and whether or not the company or entity had a legal obligation or duty that it attempted to contract away liability for in a waiver.
Call Our New Jersey Lawyers About Your Injury Case Today
Call Legal Care’s Newark, NJ personal injury lawyers at (732) 838-9769 for a free case review.