Who's Responsible for Summer Camp Injuries?

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By Andrew Lu on July 24, 2012 9:39 AM

Summer camp is a great way for your children to socialize with others when school is out. Plus, camp gives your kids something productive to do with their time instead of causing trouble.

While summer camp can get your kids out of your hair, you should also be aware that there are some injury risks with these camps. The range of potential injuries your child could encounter while at camp varies wildly. For example, your child could suffer sprains and broken bones or your child could fall victim to a child sex predator.

If your child has been injured at camp, you'll want to know who's responsible for the injuries.

Generally, the camp bears responsibility for keeping your children reasonably safe. Under the legal theory of premises liability, the camp owes a duty to review its activities and facilities to minimize injury risks. When a camp fails to meet these duties, such as making a swimming hole of a crocodile pond, a parent could sue the camp for injuries.

Similarly, the camp usually has a duty to perform background checks of its staff who will have contact with children. The camp organizers should be on the lookout for red flags like sex abuse and child abuse. If a camp fails to perform such background check, it could be liable for letting a child molester loose on a camp full of kids.

However, be aware that a camp is not responsible for all injuries. If you sign your child up for a risky activity like football camp, you may have to sign a waiver absolving the camp for most injuries that occur during the course of the sport. Even without a waiver, the argument can be made that you assumed the risk of injury by signing up.

Young children will get injured at summer camp. Whether the camp will be responsible will depend upon the specific facts of your situation. If you have any specific questions about your case, you may want to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.

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