Engaging in extreme sports such as rock climbing can lead to serious injury. Whenever a person is seriously injured while participating in an activity, they may try to obtain compensation for their injury from whoever is liable for the injury.
Liability for an indoor rock climbing injury depends on who caused the accident and whether the victim signed a liability waiver.
What is a Liability Waiver?
A liability waiver is a form releasing a party from being liable for harm done to the individual who signed it. In other words, the individual waives their right to sue for any injury or loss sustained.
Liability waivers are commonly used for inherently dangerous activities such as indoor rock climbing. The form is also referred to as a waiver, release, or liability release form.
For example, an individual signed a liability waiver form given to them by an indoor rock climbing company. While rock climbing, they fall and are injured.
The company may be at fault. However, the waiver means that the plaintiff is barred from suing the company, even though the company may be liable for their injuries.
In some cases, the person may still be able to sue even if a liability waiver was signed. For instance, this can happen if the rock climbing company was somehow negligent in their operations.
What If Someone Other Than the Company is Responsible?
As previously mentioned, who a person can sue depends on the circumstances involved in the accident. It also depends on if the jurisdiction that a person sues in regards indoor rock climbing as an ultra-hazardous activity.
Under the theory of strict liability, an ultra-hazardous activity is defined as an act so dangerous that the individual performing can be held liable for another person’s injuries caused by the participation, such as if a fellow rock climber causes the plaintiff to fall off the rock wall. It does not matter if the person purposefully intended to injury the individual or not.
The elements involved in proving a plaintiff was injured during an ultra-hazardous activity are:
- The activity involved a risk of serious harm to property and/ or individuals
- The activity could not be performed without the risk of serious harm regardless of the degree of care used
- The activity is not one commonly engaged in by others in the community
It is also possible that the accident may have been caused by a malfunction or failure of the climbing gear. In this case, it would be an issue that you may need to take up with the manufacturer, especially if it is your personal climbing gear and not property of the facility.
What are Some Defenses a Defendant May Use?
If a defendant is unable to use a liability waiver as a defense, they may be able to use the following defenses:
Use of these defenses may depend on various factors. These can include the nature of the injury, state laws, and local jurisdictional rules as well (which can vary from area to area).
Should I Contact an Attorney about My Indoor Rock Climbing Injuries?
If you have been injured while indoor rock climbing, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney in your area will be able guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries. Injury laws can be complex, but your attorney can answer your questions and provide advice on how to proceed.