Can I File a Claim if I Am Injured in an Arizona Skydiving Accident?
You and your friends finally get up the courage to skydive, and it helps to know that the United States Parachute Association reports that car accidents cause more harm and fatalities than skydiving. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, skydiving is a dangerous sport because of the nature of the sport. There are a lot of risks that people take when they choose to skydive. While this isn’t to say no one should ever skydive, it is to say that understanding the risk and your options should you be injured are crucial.
Does Signing a Waiver Prevent You From Suing a Skydiving Company?
Skydiving companies know that the sport is dangerous, which is why they ask participants to sign waivers that, in theory, protect them from liability should a participant be injured. A liability waiver is a contract between one individual and another person, business, or entity. However, even if you sign a waiver, that waiver may not always hold up in court. After sustaining an injury or injuries during a skydiving accident, it’s essential that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The skydiving company is going to do what they can to discourage you from pursuing legal action, but an attorney can make sure your rights are protected and that you get the justice you deserve.
The act of signing a skydiving waiver doesn’t eliminate the possibility of holding one or multiple parties liable for your injury. For a waiver of liability to be effective in Arizona, the participant has to have intentionally relinquished a known right. However, because of the way these waivers are often written, they don’t tend to hold up in claiming that participants knowingly and intentionally relinquished their rights away. Three questions that must be answered when looking through a waiver are:
- Was the language in the waiver unambiguous?
- Was the injury the result of an act allegedly protected by the waiver?
- Does the waiver violate the law or public policy?
Many skydiving companies do not provide enough clarity in their waivers, meaning that signing a waiver doesn’t guarantee you will not be able to recover compensation in the event of an accident.
Instances in Which a Waiver Does Not Protect the Arizona Skydiving Company
Skydiving companies are going to require participants to sign waivers, but that is not always going to protect them or others who may be held liable for injuries that occur. Some instances where the waiver is not likely to legally hold up include:
- Pilot negligence
- Pilot error
- Faulty skydiving equipment cords
- Faulty skydiving equipment handles
- Faulty parachutes
- Inadequate skydiving instruction
- Inadequate skydiving supervision
In Arizona, the enforceability of a waiver will be contingent upon numerous factors. Aspects of these waivers are often complicated and can be challenging to comprehend, especially for participants with little to no experience with liability waivers or skydiving accident laws. Working with a specialist skydiving accident lawyer can help you feel confident that someone in the room knows the best way to handle your case and provide you with the support you need to get through the situation.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Skydiving Accident Lawyer
All sports contain a certain level of risk. However, it’s crucial and legally required that skydiving companies, instructors, pilots, and other people do what they can to keep participants safe. When they fail to take the necessary precautions to ensure that skydivers are reasonably safe, they can be held liable for the harm a skydiver suffers.
At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, we have represented injured accident victims for decades. We have the experience necessary to build a strong claim for our clients regardless of the complexity of their accident. Our specialist personal injury lawyers have what it takes to guide you through the most challenging personal injury claims—including skydiving accident claims.
Contact our office today if you want to start discussing the best way to recover maximum compensation for your claim. For a free assessment of your case and explanation of your rights, you can fill out our contact form or call (928) 778-2660.
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Skydiving and Liability: Is It Negligence?
If you’re considering going skydiving, there are a few things that you should know before jumping. Skydiving is an exhilarating bucket-list activity for many but it is also one of extreme risk. Skydiving is currently at an all time high in regards to safety, with only 13 fatal accidents out of 3.3 million jumps in 2018.
That is a stark improvement from 2012, where it was over twice as dangerous. Despite that, you should still be aware of your rights in case of any unforeseen injuries that may occur and the compensation you could be entitled to. Knowledge can be the difference between getting the reimbursement that you deserve, or being left on the curb.
If you’re planning to go skydiving, they’re almost certainly going to have you sign a waiver. It will probably say things like how you can’t sue for any damages, because you accept all of the risks associated with skydiving. It may seem ironclad, but it’s not. A waiver does not protect anyone against serious negligence. If they fail in their duties to protect you beyond a reasonable level, then you are well within your rights to seek reparations for any damages suffered.
Before going skydiving in any capacity, you are likely to be given a short training course to let you know about certain possible dangers, and what to do in specific situations. Try not to forget anything that’s covered in these lessons. Remembering them is important for a few reasons, both for safety and legal purposes. The lessons are meant to educate you and teach you how to keep yourself safe. If they do their job correctly, then you’ll be safer for having listened to them. If, however, they do not then that could be a sign of negligence in your training.
Liability and Negligence
If they have acted within the bounds of negligence, then you have a case. If the injury came about as a failure of either the equipment or a co- diver, in a situation that any reasonable person could have predicted as a possibility that they were not sufficiently prepared for, then they have likely been negligent.
In short, keep an eye out for whether they are taking sufficient precautions against things that any reasonable person could see as possibilities while skydiving. If you notice a dangerous fault, and end up being injured due to that fault, then you’ll know that you are in the right to contact a lawyer, waiver or no waiver.
Guard yourself with knowledge like this and more by contacting us.