Is a jetski waiver legally binding?
Renting a jetski is a popular activity in South Carolina, especially for vacation visitors and those who don’t live on the waterfront. Jetski rental allows people to enjoy the fun of a jetski without the burden of owning or transporting the craft to and from the beach.
Jetski rental companies often require rentees to sign a waiver as part of the rental process. This waiver typically contains language stating that the rentee won’t hold the rental company or its staff liable if the rentee is injured. Just because the rentee signed a waiver, however, does not mean the waiver can be enforced in all circumstances.
Jetski rental waivers often contain “liability waiver” language. This part of a waiver attempts to protect the rental company and its staff. It typically states that the person renting the jetski cannot sue the rental company or its staff if the rentee is injured – even if the injuries are caused by the negligence of the rental company or its staff.
South Carolina courts hold liability waivers to high standards. First, the waiver may not be enforceable if its language is too vague. The waiver must make it clear that the rentee intends to give up the right to bring a negligence claim. Second, the waiver may not be enforceable if it is too broad. The waiver cannot free the rental company or its staff from liability for any type of negligence in any possible circumstances.
Some jetski waivers also contain language that attempts to hold the rentee responsible if a third party files a claim against the rental company or its staff. These are often known as “indemnity waivers.” Jetski companies may include these waivers if, for example, they offer jetskis manufactured by a third party or maintained by an outside company. These waivers must also be examined for their specific language and weighed against the events that actually occurred.
Not all jetski waivers are enforceable. Some parts of a waiver may be enforceable, while others are not. Don’t assume that you have no legal options merely because you signed a waiver. Talk to an experienced South Carolina jetski injury lawyer about your situation first.
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