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What is Assumption of Risk?

Under North Carolina law, victims who get hurt can normally pursue a claim for compensation if they are able to prove negligence or wrongdoing. A person or a company who causes a victim to be harmed could be made to pay damages for both economic and non-financial loss.

Sometimes, however, an individual will engage in an inherently risky activity. For example, a person who decides to play football is engaging in an activity that carries risk. If the victim is hurt while doing the activity, it may not be fair to impose legal liability on the person who caused the harm.  A football player, for example, could not necessarily sue the person who tackled him or the sue the coach of the team if he was tackled and got hurt while playing the sport.

When a person engages in an inherently dangerous activity, he is said to have assumed the risk of loss. Sometimes, the person doing the dangerous activity will have to expressly assume the risk by signing a paper waiving his right to sue. This could happen, for example, if a person decides to go skydiving. In other situations, however, the waiver is implied based on the decision to do a dangerous act – even if there are no forms signed in advance.

Many inherently risky activities lead to serious injury, including damage to the spine. A spinal cord injury is not curable and the costs of care for a sufferer of a spinal cord injury could be extremely high. Because of the costs, the victim may wish to try to pursue a damage claim if there is any person or entity who could possibly be held liable for loss. When the victim makes a damage claim, it is likely the defendant will claim the victim assumed the risk and thus is not able to recover damages.

Whether assumption of the risk precludes compensation is doing to vary based on the facts of each specific case. A Charlotte personal injury lawyer  can provide guidance on whether an injured victim assumed the risk of the injuries sustained.

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