Waivers of Liability Washington, DC

Do I Have a Case?

Do I Have a Case?

Fill out this form for a FREE, confidential, risk-free legal consultation.

Can you really give up your right to file a lawsuit if you sign a waiver? Are liability waivers valid in Washington, DC?

Liability waivers are often valid and enforceable in the District of Columbia.

Liability waivers (also known as exculpatory clauses, pre-injury release, and assumption of risk forms) have become a part of everyday life. If you’ve ever rented a piece of equipment, signed up for a gym membership, or your children play sports, you’ve probably signed a liability waiver.

These pre-injury releases are contractual agreements which businesses, individuals, and other entities often require you to sign before engaging in an activity. By signing an exculpatory clause, you may relinquish important legal rights if you suffer an injury. Depending on where you signed the liability waiver, that waiver may be legally binding and enforceable.

Because laws always change, the information in this webpage does not constitute legal advice. Contact a qualified Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney if you have questions about legal claims and whether a liability waiver applies to your case.

Waivers of liability are valid in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. courts have held parties may contractually release themselves from liabilities for injury caused by their own negligence. If you sign a liability waiver before engaging in an activity and suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may not have legal options to recover for your damages in the District of Columbia. Exceptions may apply, however, and the law may change, so make sure that you consult with a Washington, D.C. injury attorney.

Like Maryland, Washington, D.C. law holds waivers of liability are generally enforceable, with some exceptions. Virginia generally holds that liability waivers are void and against public policy. There at least two circumstances in which your waiver of liability may be unenforceable.

  • Unclear waiver language: The exculpatory language of the clause must be clear so that the intent to be released from liability is plain. See Maiatico v. Hot Shoppes, Inc., 109 U.S. App. D.C. 310, 312 (1961).
  • Reckless behavior caused the injury: Liability waivers in Washington, D.C. are not enforceable if the injury suffered was due to the willful, wanton, and reckless negligence of the other party. See Richard J. MOORE, Appellant v. Terrell WALLER and Square 345 Limited Partnership t/a Grand Hyatt Hotel.

How do I know if the exculpatory clause I signed in valid in DC?

Even if the liability waiver you signed was not clear or your injury was caused by willful, wanton, or reckless behavior, wrongdoers may still attempt to hold you to the agreement you signed. You may feel helpless and wonder, “do I have any legal rights?”

Speaking to a qualified D.C. personal injury lawyer is an important first step to understanding your rights. The Cochran Firm, D.C.’s experienced attorneys offer free legal consultations to people whose lives were changed by the negligence of others. To find out if your injury claim is actionable, contact The Cochran Firm, D.C.

Our firm represents clients on a contingency basis, meaning there are zero legal fees unless we win your case. This means if you don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime. Call The Cochran Firm, D.C. on our local number during business at 202-682-5800 or at 1-800-THE-FIRM (843-3476) to reach us 24 hours a day. Strict time deadlines apply when filing a personal injury lawsuit in Washington, D.C. so please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Client Stories & Testimonials

More Stories & Testimonials


Stay informed with our most recent news, events and employment opportunities.
Group Recommend
Contact Us
1666 K Street NW
Suite 1150
Washington, DC 20006
Have a question?
Get in Touch.
The Cochran Firm handles Medical Malpractice, Catastrophic Personal Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents & Wrongful Death Claims for clients throughout the United States of America. The information on this website does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney-client relationship. Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
© 2024 Copyright The Cochran Firm DC.
cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram