Busted But Not Responsible? Tips For Your Defense

If you've been arrested for a crime you didn't commit, you need to defend your legal rights. You have the right to an attorney who can help you present your case. After being wrongly accused of something myself, I learned quickly how to navigate the legal avenues to have my case dismissed. My attorney was a great resource for building the case, and because of my understanding of the law, it worked. I created this site to share what I learned along the way and some other great tips for others who have been wrongly accused and arrested for a crime.

An Overview of Assumption of Risk as a Defense to Personal Injury

Law Blog

If you accuse somebody of being liable for your personal injury, he or she may claim that you assumed the risk of injury by participating in the activity that injured you. This is known as the assumption of risk defense.

Proving Assumption of Risk

Just like other defenses, a mere claim of assumption of risk isn't enough. The defendant must prove that you knew of the inherent danger of the activity before participating in it and getting injured.

  • You had actual knowledge of the risk.
  • You voluntarily accepted the risk.

The first point means you must have known about the risk the defendant claims you knew about. In determining whether or not you knew the risk existed, the court will consider different factors; such as your age, experience, and available information. For example, an adult is expected to know that ice is slippery and can result in a slip and fall accident. Therefore, an adult who participates in an ice sport (such as ice hockey) knows and appreciates the risk of falling.

The second point means the defense is invalid if you are forced to accept the risk. For example, if a company forces all its employees to participate in a game of ice hockey, then it cannot later use the assumption of risk defense if one of the employees gets injured.

The Two Types of Assumption of Risks

Express Assumption of Risk

There are two types of assumption of risks that a defendant can adopt. The first one is the express assumption of risk, which claims that you "expressly" (i.e. you made a clear agreement) agreed to participate in the dangerous activity. Express assumption of risk usually takes the form of a written agreement.

For example, your company may give you waiver forms to sign before participating in an ice hockey game. Once you sign the form, you have expressly assumed the risk involved in the game, and the company won't be liable for your subsequent injuries.

Implied Assumption of Risk

Implied assumption of risk applies if there is no written agreement between you and the defendant. In most cases, you imply your assumption of risk via verbal agreements or through your conduct.

Consider an example where the manager of an ice hockey ring explains the dangers of the sport and then asks those who would still like to participate in it to go ahead and play. If you do go ahead and play, your conduct means you have accepted the risk.

You may lose your personal injury claim if the defendant successfully uses the assumption of risk defense. Make it difficult for him or her to do so by hiring a seasoned personal injury lawyer. Look into local attorneys, such as Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S., to find the best fit for you.


16 November 2015