Who Takes the Risk During High-Risk Activities?
It is that time of year when many families will go on vacations and travel to family reunions or destination events like weddings. During these trips, the members of your clan will often plan adventurous activities on the side; activities like hiking, rock climbing, boating, diving, water skiing, or parasailing, to name a few. So, what are your rights when you or someone in your party is injured in what might be considered a high-risk activity?
An attorney can give some insight into what responsibility tour operators and adventure activities have if you take part in a high-risk activity. In most cases, you can file a lawsuit against the operator of recreational activities even if you signed a liability waiver, regardless of inherent risk.
The term “assumption of the risk” is commonly used to suggest that a person who participates in an inherently dangerous or high-risk activity knows the activity is risky and, therefore, no one else can be blamed if they are injured. This is far too simplistic a way to view these types of cases.
Someone injured in a high-risk recreational activity should consult with a lawyer to check the law of the state in which the accident and/or injury occurred. In many states, assumption of the risk is not a complete defense for a tour operator or company offering recreational activities. Often, the activity organizer or provider must prove some degree of negligence or fault on the part of the injured person in order to avoid responsibility for an injury caused by the activity. And, even if the tour company or activity provider can prove some degree of negligence on the part of an injured person, that may not be the end for a person to recover for medical bills, lost wages, and other injuries. In comparative negligence states, a victim can still be compensated for injuries and losses caused by the tour or activity company, even if the victim shares some blame for the accident.
For example, if a river rafting outfitter (or river tube-float outfitter) doesn’t make sure every member of the excursion wears a life vest, as required by law, the outfitter may be more at fault than the participant who gets injured (because they are considered responsible for the lack of life preservers). Each case is unique, and the injuries, fault, and responsibility all need to be discussed with a lawyer who concentrates in personal injury cases.
If you’re injured due to an operator of an activity failing to provide a safe environment to participate, regardless of how high-risk the activity is, we’re here to help. At Carlson & Burnett, we focus on you and the evidence relating to your injury.
Contact an Omaha personal injury attorney at our office to schedule a free evaluation.