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What You Should Know About Liability for Injuries to Children at Summer Camp

kids wearing summer camp shirtsWhile there is no way to prevent all the injuries that may occur at summer camp, some may have been the result of another’s negligence and may have been avoidable. The trouble is that liability for these situations is complex.

If your child was injured at summer camp and you think it was because of negligent supervision, failure to follow safety protocols, or some other form of negligence, you should seriously consider discussing the situation with an experienced attorney.

TSR Injury Law’s licensed Minneapolis personal injury attorneys offer a free legal consultation to discuss your situation. Our firm has obtained millions on behalf of injury victims in a wide variety of cases. Give us a call today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. Our goal is to hold at-fault parties accountable and obtain compensation for the damages you suffered.

How Children Often Get Injured at Summer Camp

The idea of children at a camp paints a picture of mayhem. A lot of kids in many directions. That is why there are rules and adult supervision. Kids have to be protected from themselves. While minor injuries may be expected, serious injuries are not acceptable. Serious injuries are usually caused when supervision is lax or rules are not enforced. For example, children could be injured in slip and fall accidents around swimming pools, they can get burned at a campfire, they can be assaulted in a cabin when they are not accounted for. Preventable serious injuries must be addressed to help the injured child, but to also prevent other injuries for the next child.

There are many other reasons children suffer injuries at summer camp:

Inherently Dangerous Sports or Outdoor Activities

One of the benefits of summer camp for children is exercise. They often participate in a variety of sports at summer camp, some of which may be dangerous, such as swimming, or soccer or basketball, as there is a potential for collisions with other children. Contact sports like lacrosse and football put children at risk for head injuries, broken bones and joint injuries.

There are also inherently dangerous activities like horseback riding, kayaking and hiking that put children at risk for injury. There needs to be proper adult supervision during these activities. Children should also be warned about danger and instructed on how to keep themselves safe.

Lack of Safety/Protective Equipment

This is particularly true when playing sports. If children are going to be riding horses or bicycles, they need to wear helmets. 

If children are going to be outside, they need sunscreen and water so they can avoid getting dehydrated. Children are not expected to have the same good judgment as adults, which is why it is up to the adults at the summer camp to be sure children have what they need to stay safe.

While some injuries may happen, injuries should receive proper treatment to keep them stabilized and prevent infection.

Not only do summer camps need to provide safety equipment, but they also need to enforce the use of this equipment. Summer camps cannot escape liability by saying they provided the equipment, but children chose not to wear it.

Poor Supervision

One of the most common injuries that may result from negligent supervision is drowning. It can take just a second or two for a child to go underwater. The more dangerous the activity, the better the supervision needs to be.

Adults can also break up fights between children, as these fights could result in serious injuries.

Negligence in Hiring Staff Members

Unfortunately, summer camps do not always conduct the appropriate background checks on their employees. Sometimes children are being supervised by people who have been convicted of crimes or been arrested. Children could be at risk for physical abuse. There are even situations where children suffer sexual abuse at the hands of staff members.

Failing to do a proper background check on potential employees is negligent, but sometimes summer camps find out about things that should disqualify potential hires and hire them anyway.

What You Need to Know About Liability Waivers

When you signed your child up for summer camp, you may have signed a liability waiver releasing the camp from liability for injuries suffered by your child. These documents say your signature waives your right to take legal action over your child’s injuries because you assumed there was a risk.

There is a question as to whether these documents would hold up if they were challenged in court. For example, if you could provide evidence of negligence or recklessness on the part of counselors and other authority figures at the camp, the liability waiver may be invalid. Evidence of intentional misconduct may also invalidate a liability waiver.

The important thing is to discuss the situation with an attorney. Summer camps have a responsibility to take reasonable care to keep your children safe. They should not be able to escape that responsibility by including a liability waiver when you sign your child up to attend the camp.

One of the questions we may need to answer about the liability waiver is whether the risk of injury was thoroughly explained in the document. Sometimes these waivers are vague, which makes it harder to enforce them.

Contact a Licensed Attorney for Legal Assistance

Our experienced lawyers understand how stressful the aftermath of a personal injury can be, particularly when the victim is your child. You need experienced legal assistance to determine what to do next and to help protect your child’s best interests.

Our firm has secured $300 million in compensation on behalf of personal injury victims throughout the state. Our dedicated attorneys are prepared to manage the legal process on your behalf, including investigating, building a case, negotiating for compensation and going to court if necessary.

TSR Injury Law. A firm you can trust. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

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