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What is assuming the risk?

If you or someone you know in Hermitage is seeking damages from being hurt on another person’s property, be aware that the property owner might make an assumption of risk argument. To counter a claim of negligence, some property owners claim that the injured party actually knew all along that the property was dangerous, or that the activity the victim participated in was potentially hazardous. This is called “assuming the risk.” However, you should not let a property owner make you think are at fault for your own injury if you were not adequately warned.

According to FindLaw, a proper case of assuming the risk is when someone understands that an activity or property poses the possibility of injury. This knowledge can be gained by observing an activity in motion, like an amusement park ride. It can also be acquired through reading nearby signage or a discussion with an authoritative official on the property. The process of assuming the risk is complete when a person decides to enter a property or perform an activity without any form of coercion.

However, a person cannot be held at fault for his or her own injury if something unexpected happened to cause the injury. People may legitimately assume the risk if they understand what they are getting into. A person cannot complain about the speed of sliding down a water slide if other people were observed riding down the slide at similar speeds. However, if the slide comes apart in a section and a rider is hurt, that is not a risk that the rider could have foreseen.

It also possible for a property owner to be held liable if adequate documentation of risks was not posted. For instance, you might not be able to perceive all possible risks by simple visual observation. The owner should post signs that detail risks of, for instance, using an amusement park ride if the owner is too young or does not fulfill a weight threshold. Similarly, if a place on property is undergoing repairs, the owner should post signs warning pedestrians to stay away from it.

Since personal injury can take many forms, do not consider this article as legal advice. It is only intended to educate readers.