Liability Waivers and Children
If your child sustained injuries at a camp, recreational facility, or another establishment after you signed a liability waiver, contact Bivona Law immediately to learn whether you can pursue legal action.
Liability waivers are contracts between an individual and a property owner or tenant operating on the property. The person signing the contract agrees to participate in an activity and waives their right to file a claim against the owner or operator if they get hurt.
If you signed such a waiver, you might believe you have no options for holding the establishment liable for your daughter or son’s injuries. However, Bivona Law can investigate and determine whether your child is entitled to compensation. Call us at 832.835.6491 for a free consultation to learn more.
An Overview of Liability Waivers
A liability waiver, also called a release of liability, is a legal agreement between two parties. One party agrees not to hold the other liable for injuries sustained on their property. A liability waiver can be a standalone document or part of a contract containing various terms.
Parents often sign waivers on behalf of their children participating in activities involving:
- Rideshare services
- Bounce houses
- Daycare centers
- School field trips and other events
- Recreational and organized sports
- Rock climbing walls
- Entertainment facilities
- Water and amusement parks
- Batting cages
- Trampoline parks
- Sightseeing tours
Requirements for Liability Waivers
A valid and legally enforceable liability waiver must meet these two requirements of the fair notice doctrine under state law:
- Be conspicuous – Finding or noticing a liability waiver must be simple. The liability clause can’t be in a small font an ordinary person can’t read, hidden in the fine print, or difficult to locate. The language must appear in a contrasting color, large font, or other noticeable text to get a person’s attention.
- Follow the express negligence rule – The person requiring someone else to sign a liability waiver must specifically express their intent to protect themselves from liability for an injury. The language can’t be ambiguous, vague, or broad. The contract must include every legal claim covered by the terms.
Determining whether a liability waiver a parent signs on behalf of their child is legally enforceable can be challenging. That’s because the courts tend to favor the interests of children over adults. Typically, Texas courts have found that liability waivers for children’s activities are invalid, upholding Texas’s long-standing policy of protecting children.
Compensation for Child Injuries
If you can establish that the liability waiver you signed isn’t valid because it doesn’t meet the fair notice doctrine or is otherwise defective, you can file a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for your child’s injury. The money you receive might compensate for:
- Ambulance services, prescriptions, physical therapy, and other medical expenses
- Pain and suffering your child experienced due to their injury
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Your child’s mental anguish after the incident
- Lost earning capacity if your child can’t work later in life because of a permanent injury or disability
Exemplary damages might be available in a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This financial award punishes the defendant for their actions. You must show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s gross negligence, fraud, or malice to be awarded these damages by the court.
Since minors can’t legally sign contracts to accept compensation in a personal injury case, you have options for holding the money until your child is old enough to receive the funds.
You can have the compensation deposited into a registry of the court. It will stay there until your child can withdraw it when they turn 18. However, this option worries many parents. You have no control over how your son or daughter spends their personal injury award once they receive the money.
If you don’t think your child is responsible enough to manage a large sum of money, setting up an annuity or a trust might be more beneficial. You can direct periodic payments to your child after they turn 18. Instead of collecting the compensation as one lump sum, they will receive smaller, structured payments on a predetermined schedule.
You can set up an annuity or trust to distribute monthly to assist your child in paying bills or fund specific expenses, such as college tuition. You can also direct that the money becomes available to your child when they reach various milestones, such as buying a house, getting married, or having kids.
Why You Need a Lawyer from Bivona Law
Our legal team cares about our clients. We don’t view you as a way to make money. We will set aside our needs and prioritize yours, and you will receive quality representation and guidance throughout your case. Our goal is to help you and your child get through this traumatic experience and move forward with your lives.
Bivona Law handles all aspects of child injury cases, such as:
- Filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company
- Coordinating necessary treatment with doctors and facilities not far from you
- Notifying all doctors of insurance coverage for paying medical bills
- Obtaining copies of medical records, bills, and other evidence
- Submitting a demand letter to the insurance company and negotiating a settlement
- Verifying any liens and discussing possible reductions in the outstanding amount
- Negotiating lower balances on bills from medical providers
- Hiring experts to analyze the evidence and help to build a stronger case
- Filing a lawsuit if the insurance company denies the claim or provides a lower settlement offer
Speak to an Experienced Child Injury Lawyer Now
The laws regarding liability waivers are complex. Many people struggle to understand their rights and whether they are entitled to compensation. The laws and policies are even more complicated and confusing when a liability waiver involves a child.
Bivona Law can help determine whether the liability waiver you signed contains errors that would allow you to hold the negligent party liable for your child’s injury. We will aggressively seek the justice and compensation your son or daughter deserves. You can count on us to fight hard to try to reach the most favorable outcome in your case.
If you signed a liability waiver for your child to participate in an activity and they were injured, call us at 832.835.6491 for your free consultation. We fight for the rights of children harmed by others’ wrongdoing in Houston, TX.