Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Can I waive away an attraction’s personal injury liability?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Personal Injury |

When you head to Orlando’s amusement parks and attractions, chances are you will encounter a liability waiver before you get to the fun. These waivers are sometimes printed on tickets, or you may even be asked to sign one before entering the attraction. Regardless, waivers are intended to shield park operators, employees and owners from legal claims in case of injuries. But, what does this mean for you should you actually be injured?

The scope of waivers

A liability waiver essentially means you agree not to hold the park accountable for personal injuries. While it might seem like you relinquished all rights, that is not entirely accurate. These waivers typically cover incidents stemming from ordinary negligence, but waivers do not protect parks from lawsuits due to gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Can you still sue?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not straightforward. If an injury results from the park’s failure to exercise reasonable care, you might think the waiver renders you unable to seek compensation, but that may not necessarily be the case. If the injury is due to the park’s reckless disregard for safety, the waiver likely will not shield them from legal action.

The Florida law perspective

Here, you can waive the right to sue for ordinary negligence, but state law requires that the park or attraction do specific things to make such a waiver legal. You must be specifically informed that you are waiving their ordinary negligence, and that information must include the specific risks you are incurring by participating in the activity. If the waiver is deficient, it is void.

Even if the waiver is not void, a waiver cannot eliminate liability for intentional harm or gross negligence. So, if a park’s actions are deemed recklessly unsafe, the waiver may not bar you from seeking legal recourse.

What constitutes gross negligence or intentional harm?

Gross negligence surpasses mere carelessness. It is behavior so reckless that it shows a conscious disregard or indifference to the safety, life or rights of those affected.

The bottom line

Liability waivers are not foolproof for amusement parks. If you have been injured and suspect it was more than just an accident, understand that the waiver might not be the final word. It is crucial to know your rights and the limitations of liability waivers because while safety is paramount, getting justice after an accident is also important.

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