Can You Sue in Tennessee if You Signed a Waiver?
Many companies ask clients and customers to sign waivers before they provide a service or allow admission. All too often, people sign these waivers without even reading them, and if they do read them, they may not fully understand the legal jargon included. You may sign a waiver without realizing you are agreeing not to take legal action against the company if you suffer injuries.
After an accident and an injury, you may try to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against a company, only for the company to defend itself with the signed waiver. Does this waiver really mean that you cannot sue to get compensation for your losses?
Examples of Common Liability Waivers
There are many, many businesses that know that their services come with the risk of injuries. To preemptively protect the company from liability, they have people sign waivers or releases just in case an injury occurs. Some examples of when you may be asked to sign a waiver include:
- Visiting an indoor trampoline park
- Renting a bouncy house
- Signing up for a gym membership
- Visiting an amusement park
- Attending a concert or sporting event
- Going on a cruise ship
- Getting medical care
- Getting a massage or spa treatment
- Participating in recreational sports
- Renting a vehicle or equipment
- Signing your child up for dance, gymnastics, or sports
In most situations, if an activity or service involves any risk of injuries, the company will likely require a waiver before you proceed. Sometimes, you have to sign a waiver. Other times, the waiver is included on a ticket you purchased and, when you present the ticket, you are agreeing to the waiver.
Is a Waiver Always Enforceable?
In Tennessee, companies are allowed to have customers waive their legal rights to file a lawsuit, and a waiver can be a successful defense. However, state courts have prohibited waivers in cases of gross negligence. If the court determines that a company or its agents were grossly negligent, the waiver will not be enforceable, and the company should be liable for any injuries and losses.
Gross negligence is worse conduct than regular negligence, as it involves the following:
- The party acted negligently AND
- The party acted with utter unconcern and reckless disregard for the well-being and safety of other people
Identifying whether gross negligence occurred can be challenging and requires complex legal analysis. Proving gross negligence in court can also be difficult, so you always want to have the right personal injury attorney evaluating and handling your case. When a company causes injuries due to gross negligence, you deserve to receive full compensation, whether you signed a waiver or not.
Consult with a Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer Today for Free
The experienced legal team at Bednarz Law in Nashville knows how to identify when a waiver should be unenforceable. Call 615-256-0100 or contact us online for a free case evaluation and to discuss the ways we can assist you.