Most of the recreation companies that provide skydiving, parachuting and parasailing activities will require the participant to sign an exculpatory or release agreement that will prevent the company and its agents from being sued or from being responsible for any injuries that result from the activity.
Will I Be Able To Sue For Personal Injuries If I Signed A Release Agreement?
Courts have taken a very strict approach in interpreting release agreements. Since most release agreements are intended to protect the recreation company from being sued in negligence, Courts require that any release agreement be very clear and specific as to the dangers of the risks, and the limits of their liability. If the agreement is clear and specific, however, then Courts have generally found the agreement to be enforceable, preventing an injured party from suing.
The Release Agreement Seems Clear And Specific, Is There Still Anyway I Can Recover?
In most instances, recovering in the presence of a signed release agreement will be difficult. Nonetheless, recovery may still be allowed in the following circumstances:
- if the recreation company or its agents acted with gross negligence, meaning they failed to take measures even a careless person would attend to; or
- if the recreation company or its agents acted with wilful or wanton misconduct, meaning that they purposely acted improperly; or
- if one of the traditional contract defenses were present at the time of the agreement.
Should I Seek A Lawyer Even If I Signed A Release Agreement?
Even if you signed a release agreement, you still may be entitled to recovery if you were injured while skydiving, parachuting, or parasailing. Seeking out a personal injury lawyer will determine whether or not you should be able to recover for your injury.