Assumption of Risk – How Does It Affect My Injury Claim?

A recent conversation with a client, gave me the idea to write a blog about what assumption of risk means in the context of an auto accident case, slip and fall case or any serious injury claim.

Defense attorneys and insurance companies sometimes raise the defense of assumption of risk in some injury cases. If raised successfully, it can deprive the injured person of any recovery in the case. What assumption of risk means is that although defendant injured an individual, the injured person was aware of the risk that caused him or her the injury and either expressly or impliedly assumed the risk.

The following example will help us better explain what this concept means to individual claims. Some years ago, when we were representing a severely injured passenger in an auto accident case, the insurance adjuster attempted to raise this defense by arguing that since the passenger knew the driver was drunk and allowed himself to be driven home by a drunk driver, the passenger can not ask for compensation for his injuries. In that case, we successfully defeated the insurance companies defense, by establishing that the passenger was unaware of the driver’s intoxication and therefore, he could not in fact assumed any risks relating to the driver’s drunkenness.

Other types of injury cases where assumption of risk is raised as a defense, are slip and fall cases where some signage warns customers of a grocery store for example, of “Wet Floors”. Yet, an individual still decides to walk through the area and slips and falls. The insurance company can be expected to argue that when an individual is warned of a dangerous condition, such as wet floors, and decides to take the risk of walking through it and ends up with serious injuries, he or she has assumed the risk and is not entitled to any recovery.

Although, on its face this argument may make sense, an experience injury lawyer, can examine the facts further and determine if the defendant was negligent in improperly placing the warning signs, being in violation of building and safety codes, which may have been the real cause of the injuries and other relevant arguments to defeat this defense.

Upon suffering any serious injuries such as head trauma, fractures, whiplash, back injuries, nerve damage, burn injuries, sprains or strains call an experienced injury lawyer for a FREE CONSULTATION and CASE EVALUATION.

At the Sharifi Firm, APC, we have dealt with and have stood up to many of common insurance company tactics through out the years and continue to represent injury victims in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern and San Diego Counties.

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