Camping Accidents and Liability Waivers
During the summer, many people and outdoor enthusiasts flock to the outdoors to explore nature. Whether planning a family adventure or the kids are being sent to camp for a few weeks, campers are often required to sign campground liability waiver forms. This form is actually a contract by which the camp operator and camper agree to submit disputes to a specific forum and limit liability before any accident or injury occurs.
Negligence actions arise when one party fails to use reasonable care, resulting in damages to another person or property. Campgrounds owe a duty of care to campers using the campground facilities and property. If the campground fails to reasonably maintain its facilities and property, and an injury occurs, the injured camper may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. A liability waiver, however, may attempt to limit or bar any recovery and also may designate the forum where the dispute can be heard, including requiring arbitration rather than allowing the injured party to file suit in a traditional court.
Enforceability of Liability Waivers
Before entering a campground or enrolling your children in summer camp, campers may be asked to sign a campground liability waiver. The waiver is a contract that the campground and camper enter voluntarily that often limits or prevents recoveries for injuries outright under the theory that by signing the waiver the camper assumed the risk of injury. Sometimes these waivers are enforceable in court, so it is important that the camper and/or parents consult with an experienced premise liability attorney to understand his or her rights and ability to recover for damages sustained if such a liability waiver is signed.
Challenging Liability Waivers
Liability waivers are difficult to challenge. When a camper signs a liability waiver, he or she is actually acknowledging that there are risks to engaging in activities at the camp that are dangerous and can cause injury. These liability waivers however may be unenforceable depending on the actions or inactions that led to the injury, especially if the campgrounds, camp operator, and/or staff acted maliciously or intentionally.
In 2015, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an article following its investigation into summer camps, and explained that many summer camps are exempt from state regulation in Georgia. This means these exempt camps can avoid state inspections and do not have to perform criminal background checks for staff and other employees. For a list of exempt summer camps, visit myAJC.com.
Have You been Injured in a Campground Accident? Contact Atlanta’s Premises Liability Lawyers
Injuries at campgrounds or recreation centers are common and can lead to life-long challenges for those injured. It is important when visiting different camps and campgrounds and when asked to sign a liability waiver, that you understand what it is you may be signing away. Even if you signed a liability waiver form, contact Atlanta’s Premises Liability Lawyers at Cash, Krugler & Fredericks to schedule a free consultation to examine your case and discuss your options.
Atlanta Law Firm Cash, Krugler & Fredericks represents victims of serious injuries because of the negligence or intentional misconduct of others. Specializing in auto and trucking accidents, spinal cord injuries, elevator accidents, brain injuries, medical malpractice, defective products, and premise liability matters, we are here for you. Contact the Atlanta Law Firm Cash Krugler & Fredericks to schedule a comprehensive review of your claim or call us at (404) 659-1710.