What’s the Assumption of Risk Doctrine

Let’s say for example an athlete breaks their arm during the championship. It’s considered a complicated break, and the doctors tell the player they might never be able to play again, so is the player allowed to sue for earnings lost? 

We’ll answer this here with the assumption of risk doctrine. 

What this Means 

This essentially means that the person cannot have a personal injury claim due to the fact that it’s complicated, and they assumed the risk that comes with this. Injuries in sports is very common. This does protect the player from liability that’s assumed by this. 

Assumption of risk is simple: those who play or engage in activities that are dangerous do not have the ability to take legal action for the damages. 

This protects others in the event someone is killed during a freak accident when the victim does participate in a dangerous activity. This is also when they do this voluntarily. 

Now let’s say for example someone is hit by a baseball during a game. The circumstances do change, but the court believes that if you attend a baseball game, it removes liability from the owner of the stadium, or the player that hit the ball. This doesn’t mean that the fan who was hit won’t file a suit, but it does have the assumed risk there, and a lot of times, they also have to assume their own risk associated with this. 

Express Assumption of Risk 

This is where they show the plaintiff that they knew the risk that they’d experience during the activity, but they do it anyways. 

So you know the waivers that you sign when you’re about to; go bungee jumping or before you get a tattoo? That’s an example of expression assumption of risk. This is done to protect the person or business, and the fine print does mean that the person can’t sue them later on for injuries, or even infections that develop in this case. 

There is also implied assumption of risk, which is when you assume the risk of something when you participate, and you get involved in the activity regardless. 

Ignoring Warning Signs 

If there are posted warning signs, then you should know that if you ignore them, you’re engaging in implied assumption of risk. 

So if the beach says that there are dangerous tides, if you ignore that, you’re ignoring the signs and assuming the risk. 

In that case, you will not have a valid case simply because you didn’t take responsibility, and you completely ignored the warning signs that came along with this as well. 

When the Defense isn’t Usable 

Assumption of risk won’t work when there are two instances with this. 

The first, is when the person gets inured in an unrelated matter associated with the activity, and when the defense is reckless or negligent, and that results in the injury of the person. 

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Remember that accidents do happen in a lot of cases, but whether or not you have a personal injury claim is really based on whether or not you assume the risk. 

If you did sign a contract or read the fine print, then you’re liable for all of the risk that’s associated with the dangerous activity, and you can’t sue the business for engaging in such a risk. 

If you do believe you have a valid case though, you can of course talk to a personal injury lawyer about this immediately. There are plenty of personal injury lawyers out there that you can contact, and they can help you figure out your rights as well. 

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