California Wrongful Death Laws and Assumption of Risk
What Is an Assumption of Risk and How Can It Impact Your Lawsuit?
Below, we will discuss an assumption of risk and how it relates to wrongful death claims. If you have lost a spouse or registered domestic partner, our expert Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to answer any questions you may have about wrongful death claims and available damages you may be entitled to.
What Is an Assumption of Risk?
An assumption of risk is a type of defense a defendant can raise after a negligent action. This basically means that an aggrieved individual is not entitled to damages for any losses suffered when he or she willingly chose to expose themselves to a known hazard. In other words, if an individual was aware of a known danger and still took a chance anyway, they cannot sue for damages if they are hurt or killed.
This type of defense is often invoked in premises liability cases, specifically in situations that involve “enter at your own risk” or “no trespassing” signs. Other examples of cases that often invoke this type of defense include activities with waiver and release provisions, as well as extreme sports.
If a plaintiff, say a boxer, assumes the risk of being injured or killed for participating in a boxing match, then there is no legal duty owed to that person if he or she is hurt while participating in that activity. To continue with this example, boxing carries an inherent risk of suffering severe injuries and death. This is an inherent risk that is an inseparable part of boxing and cannot be reduced or eliminated.
There are two types of assumption of risk, express and implied. Express assumption of risk typically involves a signed waiver, while an implied assumption of risk is generally inferred through words and actions. An express assumption of risk is much more straightforward to prove than an implied assumption of risk.
Examples of Activities That Involve an Assumption of Risk
An assumption of risk defense is often raised in cases that involve:
- Any activities where hazards are obvious or the nature of participating in that activity cannot be performed without a risk of being hurt.
- Premises liability cases where clear and obvious signs are posted about the potential dangers.
- Sports activities.
- Extreme activities like skydiving and paragliding.
- Waivers and release clause cases.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have lost a loved one due to negligent actions committed by another party, our expert team of wrongful death attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for damages you have suffered. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more.
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