In certain personal injury cases, the defendant may argue that he was not to blame for the injuries to the plaintiff because the latter took an assumed risk and understood that injuries may have arisen from his or her actions. These primary assumptions of the risk are usually stated in writing whenever an individual wishes to perform a risky activity such as extreme sports. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help you if you were involved in an accident that took place as a result of an activity with predictable risks.
Primary assumption of risk in sports cases
The primary assumption of risk primarily
applies in cases that involve dangerous activities or vehicles. Examples can include sailing accidents
with a rented boat or jet ski, vehicle accidents with rented ATVs or a large number of extreme sports
for which the individual must expressly state his intentions in writing.
When a personal injury case is brought to court, the judges will generally recognize both implied and expressed risk assumptions. The argument of the defendant according to which the plaintiff is to blame for the injuries because he agreed to the activity will only be valid if the plaintiff agreed to the specific type of injury that occurred.
For example, if the plaintiff wishes to go bungee jumping he will agree in writing that the activity involves certain risks, including falling, injuries to the head or spine and others. However, if the plaintiff is injured in a vehicle accident
at the site where the bungee jump should have taken place, then the defendant will not have a successful risk assumption claim
Assumption of risk claims in California
The defendant can only invoke the assumption of risk for actions that were caused by negligence
. In cases where the defendant injures the plaintiff intentionally, a defense of assumed risk will not be valid.
In California, there is a primary assumption of the risk
and a secondary assumption of the risk. In the latter, the defendant should have had a duty of care towards the plaintiff. This is also known as comparative negligence
Claims of primary risk assumptions can go beyond extreme sports, they can also extend to recreational activities. One of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you understand the applicability of the assumption of the risk doctrine.