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It seems like every activity kids want to do now comes with a pre-injury waiver. Bounce houses, water parks, rock climbing, paintball…the list goes on and on. But what do these pre-injury waivers actually mean, and what should you as a parent be aware of?
- Minors are unable to legally sign the waivers. You as their parent or guardian will need to sign on behalf of (and usually as well as) them. That being said, many states have ruled that parents cannot sign away their children’s rights to sue if they get injured due to negligence. That means even if a contract is signed, it’s usually not legally binding.
- Read the waiver in detail. Not all waivers are the same, and you should always read the entire waiver fully. If you don’t understand any part of the waiver do not sign it.
- Even if a waiver is signed it doesn’t mean your child doesn’t have a claim. If a premises or company has been proven to have committed gross negligence, your child has a claim regardless of whether a waiver has been signed. Gross negligence covers a wide range of circumstances, including broken equipment and safety hazards. In these types of cases there’s usually a claim if a problem at the facility has not been corrected, or if there’s a negligent or incorrect safety procedures in place. There could also be a claim if a professional failed to act in a reasonable manner, as they owe a duty of care to your children. This is where minor’s cases differ from adults, as minors cannot legally sign a liability contract.
Just because you’ve signed a waiver for your child doesn’t mean they don’t have a claim and you can’t recover damages. If you or your child has suffered due to negligence of another party and need advice on how to move forward with a personal injury case, why not meet with the qualified team at Franco Firm.