The truth about disclaimers…
16 July 2018 by Rhian Lowe
At some time or another, we have all seen or been asked to sign a disclaimer. Whether it is a document that we are asked to sign before competing in a dangerous sporting activity, or a notice confirming that the venue does not accept liability for injury loss or damage, we have all come across disclaimers or waivers at some point.
The truth is the majority of disclaimers are invalid so you should not let a disclaimer stop you from pursuing a claim.
Disclaimers are designed to make you aware of foreseeable risks of injury. Many disclaimers suggest that the business or organiser will not be held liable if there is an injury as a result of the activity. However, the fact of the matter is that asking someone to sign a disclaimer or putting up a notice, does not absolve them from being held liable should someone end up suffering an injury or a loss.
When it comes to personal injury, negligence will always override a disclaimer. If the organiser of the event or activity has been negligent, for example, if the equipment they provided was faulty, it is likely that they will be still be found liable regardless of the disclaimer you signed.
Disclaimers are there to make you aware of the risks and should hopefully minimise the chances of injury. They cannot be used by businesses to absolve themselves of their responsibility for health and safety.