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You Signed a Waiver, and Now You’re Seriously Injured. Can You Still Sue for Damages?

If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez at 813-755-9500
Waiver of Liability

While they can be a good idea, waivers aren’t bullet proof. The purpose is to warn you of possible harm. By signing, you’re saying that you understand the risk and are agreeing to go forward with the activity anyway. You are not saying you won’t sue if someone is negligent and causes you harm.

These days, it seems like everyone is asking for waivers – hospitals, doctors, schools, spas, dentists. We live in a society where anyone can sue for anything (not that they’ll win), and people are more and more concerned about getting dragged into court.

While They Can Be a Good Idea, Waivers Aren’t Bullet Proof.

The purpose is to warn you of possible harm. By signing, you’re saying that you understand the risk and are agreeing to go forward with the activity anyway. You are not necessarily saying you won’t sue if someone is negligent and causes you harm. There is nothing you can sign that gives someone the right to be negligent.

So, if you suffer a possible risk of surgery that is listed on a waiver, you probably don’t have a good case. But negligence probably wasn’t involved if it’s a common risk, so the truth is you wouldn’t really have a good case anyway – waiver or not. If the surgeon was negligent and caused you serious harm, it’s a case, even if you signed a waiver.

It’s a Precaution, and Sometimes Meaningless, but Waivers Have Become the Norm.

If you have been injured, and you signed a waiver, don’t assume you’re out of luck. If you have a serious injury and it was caused by someone’s negligence, you probably still have a case. Personal injury attorneys give free initial consultations as a way for you to get your questions answered and a way for them to screen your case.

If one turns down your case, get a second opinion. If you get several rejections, it probably means you don’t have a case worth pursuing. Most likely, the problem isn’t the fact that you signed a waiver but that your injury isn’t serious enough to make the time and expenses of a lawsuit worth it in the end or the attorneys don’t believe they can prove actual negligence.

A Liability Waiver in Florida Must Meet Specific Criteria to Be Enforceable.

Every waiver document must be clear, unambiguous, unequivocal, and specific.

  • Clarity: Clear text means the signee can understand the language used within the document.
  • Unambiguous: Unambiguous refers to the use of concrete terms, not terms open to several interpretations.
  • Unequivocal: Unequivocal refers to the specific situations the waiver applies to.
  • Specific: Specific means that the terms address the details of the waiver as closely as possible.

If the plaintiff can prove the legal contract doesn’t meet the necessary criteria to be valid, then the plaintiff should be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent parties instead of following the contract. A personal injury attorney can help you through this process.

Even if you have signed a valid liability waiver that blocks you from suing for accidents and negligence, you can usually still file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties for intentional harm. Under Florida law, you cannot waive your right to sue a party if their intentional misconduct caused your injuries. You may also be able to sue other entities and individuals that are not a party to the contract, such as the manufacturer of a negligent product or safety device or another participant or customer that caused your injury.

That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney if you fear you’ve signed your rights away.

If you’re been injured and signed a waiver, it’s important to seek the advice of proven, trial-tested personal injury attorneys like those at Fernandez & Hernandez Attorneys At Law. We can work with your or the insurance company to make sure you receive the damages you deserve—especially if your injuries have the potential impact you for a lifetime. You can reach us for advice 24/7 by calling 813.755.9500. Hablan español.

Call 813-755-9500 for a FREE consultation.

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