Spring has arrived and for many people, that means it’s an opportunity to get out of the country for a break during the school holidays. According to ABTA, an estimated two millions Britons will go abroad at Easter with a further six million planning an overnight stay within the UK.
For many, the next two weeks will be spent trying to keep children entertained and every activity that you and/or your children sign up for may bring its own paperwork in the form of a disclaimer. Often times it will read something like “I release X Company from any and all liability for personal injury or death suffered as a result of participating in Y”.
Probably, if you’re desperately trying to keep your children entertained you will simply sign this without a second thought. Realistically, if you don’t sign it, you might not be able to participate in the activity. But what if the worst were to happen? How does signing the disclaimer affect your rights?
Well surprisingly, it doesn’t affect you at all. Under the Unfair Contract Terms Act, companies are unable to exclude liability for death or injury simply because you have signed a waiver. So effectively, the disclaimer is almost entirely pointless.
Why then will a company have you sign a disclaimer? They may simply be trying to discourage you from making a claim if you are injured during an activity. They may effectively be relying on you not knowing your rights and therefore not proceeding further. They may genuinely believe that the disclaimer is sufficient to avoid liability for death or injury during one of their activities.
Ultimately, we hope that you have a safe and restful Easter break, but if you are asked to sign a disclaimer, please know your rights!
If you’ve been injured in an accident, talk to Thompsons on 0800 0891 331.
For further information on accidents in the UK or abroad click here.
Blog by Ross Waddell