Can You Still Sue If You Signed A Waiver?

Posted on: 16 February 2022

Many places, like gyms, have you sign a waiver before you can enter. If you ever get hurt on their property, they'll likely tell you you can't sue them because you signed a waiver. Would that be true?

What Is a Waiver?

A waiver is a contract between two parties. When you sign one, you agree not to sue another party. Some waivers are standard forms that you can find online. Others are custom-made by a lawyer for each situation.

A waiver often does mean that you're giving up your right to sue. However, sometimes waivers aren't allowed by law. Businesses that use waivers may not know this or may hope that you won't know their waiver isn't valid. Additionally, even when a waiver is allowed by law, your injuries may not be covered by a waiver or may fall under legal exceptions to when waivers can apply. Never assume a waiver prevents a lawsuit without talking to a personal injury lawyer.

How Long Does A Waiver Stay Valid?

Most waivers that are about injuries last forever. This makes sense. You don't want to have to sign a waiver every time you enter a gym, and if you do get hurt, you only have so much time to sue.

Waivers only expire if they have a specific expiration date or you sign an agreement canceling them. When you cancel a contract with a waiver, the waiver still covers things that happened prior to when you canceled. So you can't get hurt and then cancel a contract in order to file a lawsuit.

What Can Make a Waiver Not Valid?

There are several things that can make a waiver not valid. One is if the waiver only covers certain things. For example, a petting zoo might include a waiver with a list of animals they have, get a new pony that bites, and forget they don't have ponies listed in their waivers. If you get bitten by the pony, the waiver wouldn't stop you from suing.

Most places hire lawyers to try to avoid situations like that. However, even waivers that say all injuries may not mean all injuries. For example, if the zookeeper assaults you, that would probably be too far outside of what you can reasonably expect to happen at a petting zoo to be covered under a waiver that says all injuries. You would likely still be able to sue.

If you were injured after you signed a waiver and want to know if you can sue, contact a local personal injury lawyer today.