In most cases in which a party is injured due to the negligence of someone else, the injured party can hold the person or entity responsible for their injuries accountable through a Virginia personal injury lawsuit. However, in some cases, a plaintiff may be prevented from recovering for their injuries even if the defendant was negligent. The doctrine of assumption of the risk is just one example.
The doctrine of assumption of the risk can be used by the defendant as an affirmative defense in some personal injury cases. Essentially, the doctrine prevents a plaintiff from recovering compensation for his injuries when the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was aware of the risks involved in participating in the activity and took on those risks voluntarily. A recent case illustrates how courts apply the assumption of the risk doctrine.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was participating in a horse racing event with approximately 50 other riders when she was injured by the defendant’s horse. Specifically, the plaintiff had dismounted from her horse and was in the process of picking up relay cards related to the day’s race when the defendant’s horse bumped into the rear of another horse, who then kicked another horse, resulting in several horses running out of control. The plaintiff was struck by one of these horses while she was on foot.