Pursuing Compensation if Your Child Is Hurt at Summer Camp in Pennsylvania
Summer camp presents new experiences and opportunities for adventure. Unfortunately, a camp also hosts potential dangers, and children can suffer serious injuries. Camps, like all child care facilities, have a legal responsibility to avoid causing harm to children. This duty includes taking action to prevent injuries. If your family is dealing with the aftermath of a child injury resulting from a camp experience in Pennsylvania, you may be able to recover damages for medical costs, emotional suffering, and missed work due to necessary care for your injured child.
Liability Waivers are Legal Contracts that May or May Not Be Enforceable
Summer camps typically use liability waivers, a type of form that releases the camp from legal responsibility if a camper is hurt through participation in camp activities. Sometimes only the parents sign the waiver, and in other situations the camp forms require signatures from both the child and the parents.
Pennsylvania law holds that individuals age 18 and older have the right to enter into binding, legally enforceable contracts. As a legal contract, a signed liability waiver may be used as evidence that the camp should not be held liable should your child be injured. Courts, however, do not hold that simply signing a liability waiver makes the terms enforceable. Some lawsuits have proceeded, and the plaintiffs have been successful, when the injured victim previously signed a liability waiver.
Additionally, what is unique about a summer camp injury is the fact that the victim is a child. Pennsylvania courts have held that parents cannot waive legal rights on behalf of their children. This means that the child may have a valid legal claim even if their parent signed an agreement or waiver of liability.
Types of Camp Injuries
Summer camps often feature pools or involve lakes and rivers. Water-related recreational activities, such as swimming and boating, can result in fatal drowning accidents or injuries by submersion. In some camps, the lifeguards are teenagers with little experience. They may leave their post or simply fail to recognize the signs of a drowning child. Other hazards are posed by faulty equipment, such as broken life jackets and old suction systems in a pool.
Also, camp dangers can result from a lack of adult supervision. Camps feature fire pits that can potentially burn children. Unsafe hazards on camp property, such as rotted wooden stairs, can lead to slip and fall injuries.
Discuss Your Child’s Camp Injury with a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney
At Needle Law, we can help families facing the devastating consequences of a camp injury. If your child was hurt while at a summer camp, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your child’s medical costs, including surgery and hospitalization. Additionally, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering following the accident. The skilled premises liability attorneys at Needle Law can help evaluate a liability waiver, if there was one involved, and provide representation for your legal claim. Our office can be reached by calling (570) 344-1266 or using our online form.