What is a Personal Injury Waiver?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A personal injury waiver is a document an adult may sign to waive his right to sue in the event that he sustains an injury or suffers some sort of damage to his personal property. For example, an individual who wants to participate in team sports is often asked to sign a personal injury waiver. By doing so, he states that he understands the risks of participation and releases his rights to any claims he might file because of injuries sustained during a sporting event or game. He may also waive his rights to compensation for damage or loss to his personal property. For instance, if he has a watch that is damaged while he is participating in the sport, the sports organization may not be responsible for it. Personal injury waivers are commonly used by such organizations as schools, travel companies and adventure activity companies.

Skydivers usually have to sign a personal injury waiver.
Skydivers usually have to sign a personal injury waiver.

Companies, schools, and various types of organizations create personal injury waivers, often with the help of an attorney. They create these forms in order to protect themselves from lawsuits. If a business owner knows there are inherent risks to an activity or event he offers, for example, he may be concerned about the financial loss he may face if someone is injured. To avoid this type of financial loss, he may have each participant sign a personal waiver form.

A personal injury waiver is a document an adult may sign to waive his right to sue in the event that he sustains an injury or suffers some sort of damage to his personal property.
A personal injury waiver is a document an adult may sign to waive his right to sue in the event that he sustains an injury or suffers some sort of damage to his personal property.

Personal waiver forms may be used in many different situations and by many types of companies. Besides sports organizations, schools and travel companies may ask students and customers to sign personal injury waivers. In some cases, amusement companies may require individuals to sign these forms as well. For example, a company that teaches people how to bungee jump or skydive may require participants to sign these forms before a lesson.

Ski resorts may have guests sign a waiver before allowing the use of more challenging slopes.
Ski resorts may have guests sign a waiver before allowing the use of more challenging slopes.

In most cases, signing a personal injury waiver means a person understands the risks of participating in an activity, event, or lesson and assumes all responsibility for any injuries he may sustain. Sometimes, however, an individual may still have a legal case if he is injured after signing a personal injury waiver. For example, if the company that provided the form didn’t adhere to safety standards, failed to act responsibility, or neglected to maintain its equipment, the injured party may have a case despite the signing of the personal injury waiver. This may depend, however, on the wording included in the form and the laws in the jurisdiction.

Schools require the parents of children involved in sports to sign injury waivers prior to participation.
Schools require the parents of children involved in sports to sign injury waivers prior to participation.

Typically, a person has to be a legal adult to sign a personal injury waiver. In many places, this means an individual has to be at least 18 years of age to sign this type of waiver. Minors are usually required to have their parents sign for them.

Participation in sports often requires a personal injury waiver.
Participation in sports often requires a personal injury waiver.
Sports leagues may have participants sign a waiver to prevent lawsuits in the case of injury.
Sports leagues may have participants sign a waiver to prevent lawsuits in the case of injury.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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