Should Parents Sign Waivers and Release of Liability Documents? - Miami Personal Injury Attorney Discusses
July 29, 2014
As the school year is about to begin, parents will be required to sign many documents in order to allow their children to participate in school activities, school sports teams, and even fieldtrips. These documents include contact forms, agreements to abide by the code of conduct, and waiver and release of liability forms. A liability waiver is a document that a parent is often required to sign which states that the parent, for himself and on behalf of his child, agrees to release the organization and sub organizations from liability for any injury that the child might suffer while participating in the sport or activity. This also may include the travel to and from these events as well. Many times these waiver can be very general. However, recently I was asked to sign a waiver and release of liability forms on behalf of my children, which detailed various injuries including paralysis and death. Many times parents/guardians sign off on these waivers either: 1) because they do not understand the consequences of signing such a form; or 2) they understand the form but know that their child will not be allowed to participate if they do not sign the waiver.
Under Florida law, in general, parents do not have the ability to enter into an agreement that waives their child's rights (absent a couple of exceptions). See In re Complaint of Royal Caribbean Cruises, 403 F. Supp.2d 1168, 1173 (S.D. Fla.2005). Of importance, one of the exceptions to this general rule is found when the organization/entity that is being release is a non-profit, community organization and/or school. Id. The reasoning behind protecting these non-profits and government organization is to allow them to continue to provide these activities to the public, enriching our youth.
So what does this mean for parents of children in summer camps, schools, optimists, and/or parks in Miami, Hialeah, Miami Springs, Miami Lakes, Kendall, Doral and throughout Florida?
First, be careful of what you sign. It may be difficult to tell your child no, but it might be in their better interest if they do not go on that fieldtrip or participate in that activity. Second, because there are rules and exception to those rules, have an attorney look at the waiver you signed if your child was injured at camp, school or some sort of other sporting event.
Olga Porven, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specializes in personal injury cases such as school, camp and sports accident cases. We pride ourselves on our client centered representation and continuous communication with our clients. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases. She understands the use of releases and waivers.
If your child or a loved one was injured or hurt at school, school sponsored event, park, camp, or other organized activity, call Olga Porven, P.A. T 305-901-1227 for a free consultation or simply send an email or case review via this website.