Can Summer Camps be Liable for Injuries to Children?
Attending summer camp is a great way for kids to stay physically active and intellectually stimulated during the summer. Unfortunately, the fun can quickly end when an injury occurs. While some injuries are accidents and no one is to blame, many summer camp injuries are the result of another’s negligence.
If your child’s summer camp injury was the result of negligence, our licensed Phoenix personal injury lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation. We can discuss the situation in a free consultation to determine if there may be a case and who may be liable for damages.
Even if you signed a liability waiver, you may still have a case. These documents may not hold up in court and there may be exceptions that apply to your situation.
Common Reasons Children Get Injured at Summer Camp
There are various reasons why children often get injured at summer camp. For example, children could contract an infection or disease due to a lack of safety protocols or a poor response to one child contracting a disease.
Make sure to do your research on the steps summer camps are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases like the measles or meningitis. For example, what is their plan for responding to a positive test?
Failing to take the appropriate steps based on local, state or national health guidelines could expose a summer camp to liability. Even though COVID-19 can be easily caught, victims and their loved ones may still be able to file COVID-19 personal injury or wrongful death claims.
Children can also get injured at summer camp because of:
- Slip and fall accidents ”“ Slip and fall accidents can happen in various situations. For example, children could slip and fall around swimming pools or because of slippery floors. Accidents happen but if camp counselors and other adults knew about a dangerous condition and failed to address it, you may have a case for negligence.
- Failing to use protective equipment ”“ Summer camps need to make sure safety equipment is used when appropriate. For example, some team sports may require protective equipment because they are inherently risky. Children should wear helmets when riding horses or bicycles.
- Failing to properly supervise children ”“ Proper supervision is essential, as children often get hurt because they do not anticipate how the activities they take part in could go wrong. Failing to supervise can result in drowning or other serious injuries that could have been prevented. Summer camps need to keep an eye on children in areas where there may be at risk of a wild animal attack or bug bites.
- Engaging in inherently dangerous activities ”“ Contact sports, hiking in the wilderness, and swimming are just a few examples of activities that could be dangerous. Being out in the sun for too long is also inherently dangerous. Summer camps should make sure to provide water and avoid excessive exposure to hot weather.
- Negligent hiring ”“ Failing to conduct proper background checks can have serious consequences. If summer camps are negligent in hiring staff members, they could be putting children at risk for physical or even sexual abuse. Failing to find out about convictions or arrests for violent crime, domestic abuse, or sex offenses, or knowing about these things and hiring people anyway could expose the summer camp to liability.
What if I Signed a Liability Waiver for My Child?
Summer camps often require parents to sign liability waivers to shield the camp from liability for injuries to campers. While liability waivers may vary, they typically say parents waive the right to file a lawsuit because they are assuming the risk of injury.
However, it is important to note these kinds of documents might not hold up in court. If staff members were negligent or reckless and your child suffered an injury as a result, the liability waiver may not apply. Intentional or malicious negligence may also not be covered by a liability waiver.
As these situations are complex, it is important to discuss things with a licensed attorney. You should not take the summer camp’s word for it about your ability to file a lawsuit. They do not want to get sued and they are hoping you will be discouraged from taking legal action because the process is too overwhelming.
However, you have the option of hiring a lawyer to manage the process for you. He or she can handle communications with insurance companies and lawyers for at-fault parties on your behalf. That frees you up to focus on your child’s medical treatment.
Summer camps have a duty to take reasonable steps to keep children safe. Under premises liability law, they have a duty to keep the premises free from hazards or at least provide adequate warning to children about the danger. In some cases, warnings are not enough because children often do not heed warnings the way adults are expected to. That is why proper supervision is so important.
A licensed attorney from Phillips Law Group is prepared to review the liability waiver you signed to assess what your legal options may be. Our goal is to obtain compensation if another party may be liable for your damages.
Have Questions About Your Claim? Call Phillips Law Group
Injury claims can be much more complicated than victims realize. While you are not required to hire a lawyer, it is often a good idea. In fact, injury victims who hire lawyers often recover more compensation than those who try to go it alone.
However, you do not want just any lawyer representing you. You need an experienced lawyer with a history of results who is dedicated to the clients’ best interests. At Phillips Law Group, we have been helping injury victims for more than 28 years. We have obtained hundreds of millions in compensation and have received hundreds of reviews from satisfied clients.
Schedule a free consultation today. There are no upfront fees for our services, which means there is no risk to you.
Give Phillips Law Group a call today. Phone: 1-800-706-3000 .
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