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What does it mean to assume the risk?

If you have been hurt on another person’s property and you feel that the property owner should have done more to make the property safer or to provide fair warning, the owner might counter that you “assumed the risk” by crossing onto the property or engaging in whatever activity that caused the injury. Kentucky injury victims should be careful not to be tricked into assuming guilt for an injury that is not their fault.

The idea of assuming the risk is, as defined by Findlaw, when a person knows that an activity is dangerous but chooses to engage in it anyway. The same principle applies if you cross onto a property that is damaged, under repair or under construction knowing you could get hurt. Since the risks are known, the property owner is not liable if the individual gets hurt.

However, if the property owner does not post sufficient warnings or notices, the owner could still be held negligent for not properly informing the public of dangers posed by the property. Take a stairwell that is under repair, for example. A property owner or manager should post easy to read warning signs before any entry to the stairwell, or block the well off altogether. Similarly, amusement park managers should post signs that detail risks of using the rides.

Additionally, a property owner cannot claim you assumed the risk of injury if something unforseen happens. You can only assume injury risks if you know what to expect. If you are hurt because the surface you step on gives way or a piece of nearby machinery tosses a screw at you, these are not expected risks. If the property owner knew that mishaps like these could occur and did nothing about it or failed to warn you, the owner cannot claim you legitimately assumed a risk of injury.

This article, while written to inform readers about personal injury topics, should not be taken as legal advice.

 

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