When you register for something that might be risky (like exercise classes, community sports, a race , competition, or adventure/extreme activities) or enter a dangerous place (like a factory or industrial site) you may be asked to sign a waiver first.
In the ACT, it’s important to know that if something goes wrong, signing a waiver or release of liability does not absolve a person or organisation from all legal responsibilities in all situations.
The enforceability of a waiver depends on several factors, including:
- Legality of the Waiver: Not all waivers are enforceable. The validity of a waiver depends on factors such as the wording of the waiver, the clarity of the language used, and whether it was presented fairly and with informed consent. Courts may not enforce waivers that are overly broad, ambiguous, or obtained through coercion or duress.
- Nature of the Activity: The type of activity or event involved can impact the enforceability of a waiver. For example, waivers for inherently risky activities like skydiving may be treated differently than those for more common activities like signing up for a gym membership.
- Negligence Standard: Even if you sign a waiver, you may still be able to claim compensation if the injury or harm was the result of the other party’s negligence or gross negligence. Courts may not uphold waivers in cases of gross negligence or when the responsible party has breached their duty of care.
- Unforeseeable Circumstances: In some situations, unforeseeable circumstances or acts of nature may make a waiver unenforceable.
- Consumer Protection Laws: Consumer protection laws may also impact the enforceability of waivers, particularly in cases where they are used by businesses.
If you have signed a waiver and something goes wrong or some gets injured, you may still be entitled to compensation. It’s important to consult with a legal professional who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and the language of the waiver in question. At MEJ, we can provide guidance on whether you may still have a valid claim for compensation, even if you signed a waiver.
Keep in mind that laws can change, and the interpretation of waivers may vary, so it’s essential to get legal advice that is up-to-date and specific to your situation.
To connect with our team, give us a call or send an enquiry through from our contact page.