If I signed a waiver, can I still claim compensation?

Wednesday 6 February 2019
Lisa Paul

Anyone who has ever visited a fun park, participated in an adventure activity, or swam in a public pool has more than likely been required to sign a waiver.

When you sign a waiver you are agreeing that you have no right to sue or claim compensation if you are injured. These can be short statements or long-winded legal documents that read like you are signing your life away. Other forms of this waiver can be a large sign indicating that you participate at your own risk, and by entering the premises you accept that risk.

Waivers, however are not entirely binding and you may still have rights to compensation.  This is because Victorian law still requires premises to be safe, and that activity operators have reduced any foreseeable risks.

Case study

When Jenny and her family took a trip to a fun park, there was a big sign at the entrance stating that everyone entered at their own risk and that the park would not be liable for any injuries suffered.

On the cyclone waterslide, Jenny unfortunately hurt her back going down one of the bumps.

As bumps, scrapes and jolts are expected to occur on waterslides, this is an injury that Jenny reasonably could have foreseen, and legally would be found to have accepted this risk upon entering the slide. It is therefore unlikely that Jenny would be able to claim any compensation for her injury.

If, however, there was something wrong with the waterslide – such as one of the sections was out of alignment – and this caused Jenny’s back injury, then she more than likely would have a claim for compensation.

In her review of the case Lisa Paul, partner at Adviceline Injury Lawyers, explains that “if an injury is caused by something that is unsafe, and therefore outside of the normal risks you agree to when riding a water slide, then you would still have the right to bring a claim.

“A signed waiver, or a general one will have no effect in this instance.”

Lisa encourages anyone injured at a fun park or while engaging in an adventure activity to never assume you cannot bring a claim if you have signed a waiver.

Call one of our expert lawyers for advice on whether your injury is potentially one that falls outside of the generally accepted activity risks on (03) 9321 9988.

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