One of our recent blog posts discussed electric scooters and their explosive growth across the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the country. Electric scooters are expected to arrive in Seattle within the next year, so it is important to understand what you are getting into when you agree to use one of these services.

Many companies, including scooter companies, require you to sign user agreements that complicate your right to sue. In the agreements, which are often incredibly long and full of legalese (see for yourself), you assume liability for harm suffered while riding the scooters. Lime’s user agreement, in October of 2018, was 261 cell phone pages long – a little over 18,400 words. In the agreement, users assume liability for injuries and must resolve their cases in California.

Other scooter companies have similar user agreements. What can you do if you signed a user agreement with a liability waiver? Your best bet is to contact a personal injury attorney. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to still pursue a lawsuit against the company responsible for your damages.

Filing a Lawsuit if You Signed a Liability Waiver

Many businesses, such as your local gym, put liability waivers with an exculpatory clause into complex user agreements. If you have ever seen a terms of use contract for a gym, then it is no surprise why most people do not read the fine print. The exculpatory clause is the part of the waiver that absolves one of the parties of being liable for damages.

While it is in your best interest to understand what you are signing, you may still have options to file a lawsuit even if you signed the agreement. There are cases where courts will not uphold a liability waiver.

If the business’s gross negligence caused your damages, then you may still be able to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. The same is true if you suffered damages because an employee at the business was grossly negligent.

In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, gross negligence is where a party owed you a duty of care, and their conduct fell significantly below the standard requirements for preventing unreasonable harm and you suffered damages as a result. Liability waivers may be unenforceable if the at-fault party’s gross negligence caused your damages.

If a waiver’s exculpatory clause “violates a public policy interest of the state”, then it is not enforceable in court. With this type of liability exception, the clause in question harms the public good and is injurious to members of the public.

In addition, the waiver may not be enforceable if it was inconspicuously drafted. The language has to be clear.

An attorney can help you determine if any of these factors apply to the agreement you signed. Additional issues could arise while pursuing a claim involving a waiver, so we encourage you to give us a call if you want to pursue compensation.

About Our Seattle Injury Law Firm

Seattle personal injury lawyer Zach Herschensohn can help you determine whether you have legal options to overcome a user agreement after suffering an injury. We encourage you to give us a call for a free consultation at (206) 588-4344 if you have questions. You can also use our online evaluation form.