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A waiver or release is the intentional and voluntary act of relinquishing something, such as a known right to sue a person, educational institution, or organization for an injury. The term waiver is sometimes used to refer a document that is signed before any damages actually occur. A release is sometimes used to refer to a document that is executed after an injury has occurred.
Courts vary in their approach to enforcing releases depending on the particular facts of each case, the effect of the release on other statutes and laws, and the view of the court of the benefits of releases as a matter of public policy. Many courts will invalidate documents signed on behalf of minors. Also, Courts do not permit persons to waive their responsibility when they have exercised gross negligence or misconduct that is intentional or criminal in nature. Such an agreement would be deemed to be against public policy because it would encourage dangerous and illegal behavior.
Assumption of the risk is a defense raised in personal injury lawsuits. The defense claims that the plaintiff knew that a particular activity was dangerous and thus bears all responsibility for any injury that resulted. In order to show the risk was assumed, the danger assumed must be obvious or the nature of the activity causing injury must be inherently dangerous. Assumption of the risk may be proven by a clause in a contract stating the existence of the danger and the waiver of liability of the defendant for injuries caused, but may be shown by other evidence. Once proven, assumption of risk may bar the plaintiff from any recovery for injuries.
This form is a generic example that may be referred to when preparing such a form for your particular state. It is for illustrative purposes only. Local laws should be consulted to determine any specific requirements for such a form in a particular jurisdiction.
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