Liability Waivers in Washington Personal Injury Cases

If you or your children have ever participated in activities such as organized sports or fun-runs, attended a motocross or racing event, or even perhaps ridden carnival rides, it’s likely you signed a liability waiver. The basic idea of the waiver is to release one party from all liability related to its services, including negligent acts, if something does in fact happen while engaged in that activity.

Liability waivers allow business that are involved in inherently risky activities to continue to do business without being bombarded with numerous lawsuits for injuries that could potential force the business to shut down, or at least raise their prices. But if you or your child is injured after signing a waiver, are you just out of luck?

Washington courts have upheld lots of liability waivers, but they have also noted certain exceptions that may allow you to potentially recover in a claim against the business. Those situations include:


1. The waiver clause violates public policy;

2. The negligent act falls greatly below the standard established by law for protection of others; or

3. The waiver clause is inconspicuous.

It’s important to remember that the three scenarios above rely heavily on the language of the waiver and the specific facts of your case. If you signed a waiver, and you or your child was subsequently injured, make sure you have a copy of the waiver and speak to a personal injury attorney to discuss whether or not you have a potentially valid claim.