In today’s edition of Personal Injury 101, we’re taking a look at Assumption of Risk and why it’s important for you to be familiar with it.
Assumptions of risk are for personal injury cases involving torts. A tort is a civil wrong, either intentional or unintentional, for which redress can be sought in court. In a nutshell, a tort lawsuit is when the injured party (plaintiff) sues the supposed wrongdoer (defendant).
Assumption of risk applies in unintentional tort cases (i.e. negligence). Its cousin in intentional tort cases is consent. Under the doctrine of assumption of risk, the defendant owes no duty to the plaintiff, and cannot therefore be held accountable for wrongs to the plaintiff, under circumstances where the plaintiff understood the dangers inherent to a certain activity, but participated in the activity nonetheless.
A plaintiff can expressly assume the risk—by signing a waiver, for example. A plaintiff can also impliedly assume the risk, like by attending a baseball game where it is known that foul balls regularly enter the stands.
If you have assumed certain risks, you cannot then hold others accountable for the injury that befalls you as a result.
A good attorney will be able to evaluate your case and let you know whether your injuries are compensable, or whether the law will likely hold you accountable for your own injuries.
Until our next installment, be sure to check out the previous Personal Injury 101 lessons on our blog here.
Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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