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What If I Was Hurt While Renting a Bicycle and Signed a Waiver of Liability?

A waiver is a legal form or document that releases someone, or some organization, from liability. Insurance waivers usually are offered to, or requested to be signed by, individuals by organizations or companies seeking to document the fact that the individual has declined a certain type of insurance.

A waiver or release gives up a right, such as releasing one from his/her liability for harm or damage that may occur from performing under a contract, or participating in an activity. Some activities are considered inherently dangerous, and those who participate in such activities may be required to sign a release form, acknowledging that they are assuming the responsibility for their voluntary participation in such activities. The release acts as an assurance to the person requesting the release that they will not be subjected to litigation resulting from the signing party’s informed and consensual acts.

Florida Liability Waivers

Many organizations and companies use liability waivers as a matter of course in their everyday businesses. Recreation, sports and amusement entities regularly request that participants sign liability waivers before using their facilities. A ski lodge, for example, may require you to sign a waiver before you hit the slopes. Youth football and hockey teams, bungee-jumping companies, carnivals and amusement parks, and companies that rent equipment such as bikes or surf boards usually require you to sign waivers. Even without a waiver in hand, however, many companies involved in high-risk businesses are protected against potential lawsuits due to state laws. Some states have determined that many sports are inherently dangerous and that participants assume liability risk simply by participating. Most tickets to sporting events contain a clause alerting the purchaser that they are assuming risk by attending, say, a baseball game, where a foul ball may cause injury.

A waiver or release is the intentional and voluntary act of relinquishing something, such as a known right to sue a person, educational institution, or organization for an injury.  Waivers and releases are commonly used by the sponsor of an event (e.g., Boston Marathon) and schools when competitors, students, faculty, or visitors participate in a private or institution-sponsored activity. The term waiver is sometimes used to refer a document that is signed before any damages actually occur. A release is sometimes used to refer a document that is executed after an injury has occurred.

A waiver can be an effective way for a person, educational institution, or organization to inform students, parents, event participants, and family members of the risks involved in various activities and to shield the person, educational institution, or organization from liability. The best releases explain the risks of a particular activity or program in detail. So, even if all aspects of a release are not upheld in court, you can show that the releasing party was informed about the specific risks and should be responsible for his or her own conduct.


Waiver and Release of Claims for Future Personal Injuries or Death by an Adult Applying to Participate in a Bicycle Race

This form seeks to allow an adult to release the promoters, sponsors, volunteers, promoting clubs, event officials, and others for injuries or property damage while participating in a bicycle race.


Waiver and Release of Claims for Future Accidental Injuries or Death by Individual Applying to Rent a Bicycle – Includes Consent of Parent or Guardian of a Minor

This form is a release and assumption of risk agreement in favor of a business that rents bicycles. This form also seeks to release the city in which the business is located.

 

Agreement to Rent Bicycle and Release of Liability

This form is a release and assumption of risk agreement in favor of a business that rents bicycles. This form also seeks to release the city in which the business is located.


Signing a Release Does NOT Mean You Have No Recourse


If you’ve ever participated in an organized ride or race, you probably signed a release—a document that protects the event organizer from liability for negligence if you are injured or killed, or if your bike is damaged. You’re typically required to sign the release before you’re allowed to participate.

This situation creates a conundrum for cyclists. By signing, you’re agreeing to waive some legal rights in the event of injury. But without liability releases there would be few such events, because organizers wouldn’t want to assume the legal risk of holding one. When asked, I usually recommend organizers require one.

But what if something goes wrong and you are injured? Signing the release doesn’t mean you have no recourse if someone else is at fault. Your options vary depending on what happened and the ride’s location.

First of all, any participants not named in the release may be held liable if they played a part in your injury. The parties named in the release are protected, but not from liability for gross or criminal negligence, recklessness or intentional acts—like if an event volunteer does something so reckless that it is almost inevitable riders will be injured.

Even if something unforeseeable happened—for example, a car appeared on a closed course—the release may not protect organizers against the ordinary negligence of a volunteer allowing the car into the ride. And if organizers proffer a release that claims to shield them against liability for all acts, don’t worry: Courts have shot down releases claiming such all-encompassing coverage.

In some jurisdictions, releases are essentially worthless. This is because some officials believe as a matter of public policy that letting people escape liability for negligence is a bad idea. So if you get hurt on an organized ride, don’t assume you’re stuck with the tab.

Who Can’t Sign a Liability Waiver

If a rider is younger than 18, his signature on a contract is unenforceable. As for parents who sign a waiver on the child’s behalf? That signature is no more legally binding than the child’s.

Who Is Protected in a Liability Waiver

The people and parties named in the release. This typically includes event organizers, officials and volunteers, event sponsors, medical personnel, relevant governmental entities and participating clubs. Some releases may include other riders as well.

Who Isn’t Protected in a Liability Waiver

Any party not named. If another rider not mentioned in the waiver or a driver on an open course causes you to crash, you may have legal rights against those parties.

Orlando, Volusia County and Flagler County Bicycle Accident Attorneys for over 30 Years

For over 30 Years, Rue & Ziffra Law Offices and Attorneys have provided legal expertise and results for those who have been affected by Bicycle Accidents in Bunnell, Daytona Beach, DeBary, DeLand, Deltona, Edgewater, Flagler Beach, New Smyrna, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Port Orange and Sanford.

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