What If My Child Was Injured at Summer Camp?
Choosing a summer camp for your child is not as simple of a decision as it may have been when you were a kid. There are hundreds of different summer camps to choose from including camps focused on academics, adventure, artistic themes, family, service organizations, religion, military, sports, technology, special needs, or even the more general focus camps are still available.1 No matter what type of camp your child ends up attending, as a parent, you expect the summer camp to be responsible for the health and safety of your child. However, despite a camps best efforts to make a safe environment by preparing for possible dangers, the very nature of camps to be in secluded forested areas and to be filled with young and unpredictable children, means there is always a risk that your child will sustain an injury while at summer camp.2
Common Summer Camp Injuries
The most common injury for kids at summer camp is the contraction of an infectious illness.3 However, falls, cuts, and collisions account for a large portion of summer camp injuries, because the physical environment at camps such as trees, hills, overgrown vegetation, unpaved ground, and a range of loose recreational equipment increases the risk of injury.4 Heavily active or sports oriented camps with baseball or football fields, pools or lakes, hiking trails, or similar outdoor facilities are more likely to produce physical injury to bones, tissue, or skin. Other common injuries sustained during summer camps includes rashes, bites, and burns.5
Liability for Summer Camp Injuries
Determining liability for injuries sustained at a summer camp can become a complex matter. The type of injury and the way in which the injury was sustained effects the determination of liability. Since most camps own the property, under a theory of premises liability the camp has a duty to provide activities and facilities that minimize the risk of injury.6 Premises liability law requires that no dangerous conditions be present on the property or that warnings or barricades be used when an owner is aware of a danger. The issue with some injuries is that many parents have to sign a waiver or release before sending their child to camp. When a camp is based on a highly dangerous activity such as football or archery and a waiver is signed, then the summer camp may have an argument that your child assumed the risk of injury.7 Since the probability for injury is high at most summer camps, determining liability requires considering the specific facts and the role the camp facility, camp owners, camp staff or counselors, or the maker of any defective equipment used at the camp had towards causing your child’s injury.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If your child was injured while at summer camp it is important to discuss the circumstances of the injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights and interests. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.