During the summer one of the most popular activities to participate in is going to the local pool or waterpark. However, any time water is involved in your fun, the possibility of an accident is great. Fortunately, most public swimming pools and waterparks employ skilled lifeguards and make sure there are plenty of guards on hand at all times. But, in some instances patrons are asked to sign waivers upon entrance, relieving the park of any liability for any accident that happens. What this means is that if you are involved in an accident, the insurance company that provides coverage for the park will likely deny your claim. This can leave you without a remedy, and also leave you financially responsible for any costs of treatment needed as a result of the accident. In some cases though, you can and should seek compensation from the park.
In Minnesota, there is a statute to deal with how to proceed in a personal injury case when a waiver has been signed. The law provides as follows:
- When the waiver releases a party from liability for an activity that is more than ordinary negligence is not an enforceable waiver. There are exceptions to this rule, and one of those exceptions is for an activity that is dangerous by its nature. Establishing the applicability of this section of the law, or an exception to it, requires a detailed review of the facts of your case.
- When certain portions of the release are found to be ineffective, the Court may hold that other portions of the document do apply to a particular circumstance.
The key portion of this law, it seems, is in determining what is “ordinary negligence” versus what is “greater than ordinary negligence”. Public opinion on the activity plays a part in making this determination, as waiving liability for an injury that is considered against “public policy” are held to be unenforceable. A good example of a type of injury that you cannot waive liability for is death. Unfortunately, even with lifeguards and other safety measures in place at public pools and waterparks, an accident drowning can happen. Despite the existence of a signed waiver, releasing the park from liability for such a death, you may still be able to bring a case. To learn if you can hold a waterpark liable for an injury, including a death, contact our office.
If you have been in an accident for which you signed a waiver, call our office to learn your options. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for you. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.