It seems that wherever people go these days, they are being asked to sign a waiver before engaging in any activity. Whether it’s horseback riding, water skiing or rock climbing, business owners have gone to great lengths in Houston, Texas to draw up pre-injury waivers that patrons are forced to sign before they participate. Does this mean that injured parties cannot sue to recover their damages? In the state of Texas, the answer to this question is definitely “no.”
Waivers Used as a Deterrent in Texas
Facility owners spend a great deal of time and money in Houston to craft waivers for patrons to sign. They have two goals in mind when doing so, the first of which is causing people to act safely while performing certain activities. The other is to deter them from filing a lawsuit in the event they are injured anyway. Most are very successful at meeting the second goal, as many people will not even bother to speak with an attorney after signing one.
Pre-Injury Waiver Requirements
In order for a waiver to be enforceable, it needs to include a few important details:
- Conspicuous wording whenever the actual release is stated so that it is easy to see. This can be in the way of bold print, all caps, or colored font.
- Language that is easy for the average person to understand.
The problem with many contracts is that they contain “fine print” or are riddled with legalese that the average person simply cannot comprehend. Contracts such as these may give an operator peace of mind, but they do little to protect the business owner from liability in the event a customer is injured.
Duty of Care
Businesses have a duty of care to provide a safe environment for their customers, regardless of whether or not they are required to sign release forms. If you or a loved one has been injured after signing such paperwork, you very well could have a remedy available under law despite this fact.