Assumption of the Risk in West Virginia

Every day, your loved ones engage in a multitude of activities as a form of recreation. Most activities involve some level of danger. However, many individuals believe that the pleasure that is gained from an activity outweighs the dangers involved. While the attorneys at Colombo Law understand there is an inherent risk in everything you do, you should be aware that signing a waiver agreeing to assume the risk in dangerous activities may preclude recovery in personal injury actions. If you or someone you know have been injured in an accident as a result of an activity, contact Colombo Law for a consultation.

What is Assumption of the Risk?

Assumption of the Risk is a doctrine that holds that there is no liability for an injury that occurs after the party voluntarily engages in activities that have an inherent risk of injury due to their dangerous nature. Some activities that may trigger the doctrine of assumption of the risk include jetskiing, skiing, snow tubing, ice skating, ATV rides, rock climbing, skydiving, and hang gliding.

Assumption of the risk is asserted as a defense to a negligence claim. It may only be asserted in instances in which the injury was reasonably foreseeable when completing the activity. For example, a person injured at an ice skating rink may have assumed the risk of falling while attempting to ice skate. If the individual breaks her arm as a result of a fall, it is possible that defense may assert that the injured party assumed the risk of the injury. However, if the individual sliced her finger after the fall due to a piece of metal sticking out from the wall where she fell, the individual does not assume the risk of the injury. In the latter scenario, the injured party may still be successful in a negligence action against the owner.

Types of Assumption of the Risk

Generally, there are two forms of assumption of the risk:

  • Express Assumption of the Risk: Express assumption of the risk occurs in those instances in those instances in which an individual expressly understands and accepts the risks involved in an activity. Express assumption of the risk usually involves signing a waiver of liability for any injuries that may occur.
  • Implied Assumption of the Risk: Unlike express assumption of the risk, implied assumption of the risk does not involve a waiver of liability. Instead, it is a defense asserted in those cases in which a participant was aware of the risk involved and voluntarily engaged in the activity despite the risks involved.

Contact an Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an accident or incident involving an activity, contact Colombo Law today. Even if you were injured while completing a dangerous activity, you should speak with an experienced attorney to determine your rights. Our attorneys will look at the facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether you have a claim. It is important to remember that assumption of the risk is a defense to a negligence claim. Therefore, defendants must prove the defense before it will impact a case in any way. Let our firm help your family today.

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by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on