Saturday, June 7, 2014

Injured Kids May Not Be Bound By Waivers

I have had many clients whose children were injured but who thought they could not sue because they had signed a waiver.  Fortunately, those clients thought to check with an attorney.  I can only imagine how many people have been dissuaded from filing a lawsuit, or contacting a lawyer, because they signed a waiver that would never hold up in court.

The truth is, when dealing with children, waivers are generally not enforceable.  A small child does not have the capacity to understand or waive their rights, and their parents cannot waive them on their behalf.  

This does not mean that every case is a winner.  Certain activities, particularly sports, carry with them an assumption of risk.  For example, generally, no one is liable when a teenager is hurt getting tackled in football because it is a risk of the activity, and no one was negligent.  

Other activities, particularly when marketed to young children, are not the same as organized sports among older children.  Facilities engaged in laser tag, ice skating, roller skating, trampoline and bounce parks, go carting, and other activities - even when they have you sign a waiver - owe a duty of reasonable care, including appropriate warnings, supervision, crowd control, and keeping their facilities safe. 

Don't assume that because you signed a waiver your child has no rights if they are injured. Call me for a free consultation, 631-482-9700, or email


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