As a business owner, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to keeping individuals on your business's premises safe. You likely understand this obligation and do your part to make sure that any activities that take part on the premises are not unnecessarily dangerous. However, if you operate a business that involves individuals participating in risky activities, such as riding roller coasters or driving go-karts, you certainly understand that a risk of injury is involved.
Because of the possibility of injuries resulting from participating in potentially dangerous activities or activities that pose a risk of harm, you make certain to disclose the risks and ensure that your customers understand and accept that risk. Still, even after your disclosures, you could face a lawsuit if a person suffers injuries on your premises and makes a claim.
Defending against claims
If your business does face a premises liability suit, you may wonder whether your company will go under as a result. Fortunately, before resigning yourself to such negative thoughts, you do have the opportunity to defend against claims of negligence. In particular, you may have the ability to utilize the assumption of risk defense.
If you hope to use this type of defense, the following factors must apply to your case:
- The injured party knew that a risk of injury existed and that the risk was associated with the same type of injury the party suffered, meaning the injury was foreseeable for the type of activity.
- The party assumed the risk by voluntarily taking part in the activity.
You may have provided a contract or waiver to the party to ensure that he or she understood the risks, and by signing the document, that person gave an express assumption of risk. An implied assumption of risk could also exist if the individual viewed the activity, gleaned that it could have risks and decided to participate anyway.
Negligence vs recklessness
The assumption of risk defense can help in cases where individuals claim negligence. However, if someone accuses you or your company of recklessness or intentional behavior, this type of defense will likely not apply. Still, even for such accusations, you undoubtedly have defense options.
When it comes to protecting the best interests of your business, it is wise to understand your available defense tactics for premises liability claims. Consulting with a knowledgeable Louisiana attorney could help you in the event that you face accusations or a lawsuit.