The assumption of risk defense alleges that the plaintiff knowingly and voluntarily exposed themselves to the risk that caused the injury. The plaintiff doesn't get any compensation if the defense is successful. Below is an overview of the assumption of risk defense with reference to amusement parks.
Types of Assumption of Risks
An amusement park can use these two forms of assumption of risk.
Express Assumption of Risk
The express assumption of risk applies if the defendant explicitly warned the plaintiff about the risk that ended up causing the injury. The warning can be oral or written.
Most amusement parks have warnings on their tickets — warnings that absolve the park of injuries that occur within the grounds. With that, buying a ticket means you have accepted the risk of injury in the park. Some parks also put up warning signs in strategic places on their grounds.
Implied Assumption of Risk
Implied assumption of risk doesn't exist in written or oral form. Rather, the plaintiff's actions imply that they have accepted the risk of injury. Implied assumption of risk assumes that the risk of injury is so obvious that a reasonable person cannot fail to know about them.
For example, the average person knows that amusement parks can be inherently dangerous. Falling from rides, tripping and falling, and getting hit by an object are all real risks in amusement parks. You acknowledge this risk merely by getting onto the park grounds or taking part in the park's activities.
The assumption of risk defense is not a blanket defense for amusement parks. There are exceptions that allow injury victims to hold these parks liable for injuries. Below are some of those exemptions.
The assumption of risk defense only applies to foreseeable injuries. For example, you know that the risk of falling off a ride exists when you take a ride at an amusement park. However, you don't expect a dog to bite you in an amusement park. Thus, an amusement park might find it difficult to use the assumption of risk defense a dog bite injury.
Recklessness or Intentional Acts
The assumption of risk defense doesn't apply to injuries that stem from reckless or intentional acts. For example, the defense won't apply if you get into an argument with a parking attendant and they punch you in the face.
Lastly, the assumption of risk defense also doesn't apply to injuries that stem from defective products. An example is if you fall off a ride because of a loose screw.
To learn more about your rights if you are injured, contact a firm such as Kilgore Smith LLC.