Setting off for summer camp is one of the highlights of the summer. Regardless of whether it is day camp or a sleep-over camp, it is adventure time. Sending your children to camp is a step towards independence and an experience they are unlikely to have any other way.
Like everything in connection with parenting these days there will be multiple permission forms to be signed, many of them to do with liability for injuries that may be sustained by your child. Read these and understand them. Together with adventure there comes risk of injury as depending on what type of camp your children are attending there may be factors they have not previously been exposed to. Farm camp has been quite popular in our area recently. Farm animals' behavior cannot be predicted. Goats bite and chicken's peck. The real thing is not like a picture book!
Many camps involve a lake where children can cool down and swim. With water there is usually a requirement that your child have a certain level of skill in the water. These restrictions are imposed for the safety of your child and other campers so please do not attempt to get them into a camp where they cannot meet the minimum requirements.
There are many different forms of summer camp and many of these involve sports, animals, hiking, water and fire all of which carry some danger, but also so much fun! A bonfire after a day of canoeing; what could be better from a young persons point of view that that! New activities such as archery, horseback riding, sailing or tennis can influence your child's future after school activity choices and give them new passions. The list of camps available is limited only by your child's age and your budget.
In your selection of a camp for your children, put safety at the top of the list. They should have well practiced safety routines and qualified and well-trained staff. Proof of liability insurance for camps operated by any private organization should be requested. Camps operated by churches, municipalities or schools will have insurance already in place, but checking their coverage amounts is always a good practice.
This being a page on a law firms' site we will just assume that you have done everything by the book in sending your son or daughter to summer camp and yet your child has been injured. What can be done about it? All of those releases that you signed were designed to protect the organization from liability after all.
The phrases that will be used in any discussions you have regarding your child's injury when it comes to compensation, for out-of-pocket expenses or the pain and suffering resulting from the injury itself is negligence. This is the basis for any injury claim and must be present for the claim to be successful.
Negligence is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the failure to give someone or something enough care or attention. Evidence that the necessary standard of care was not met is required. Negligence is what moves an accident into the world of civil litigation and you need to consult a lawyer who works in this area of law, not the real estate lawyer you used when you purchased your home or the lawyer that incorporated your business.
Negligence can be taken a step further with the term gross negligence or wanton and willful misconduct. This moves simple fault into the criminal category and requires evidence that the incident was caused by a failure to have any regard for the safety of others.
Organizations that offer summer camp programs are generally very conscientious as they are aware that they are in charge of children. They use care when hiring staff and usually require police checks. If your child has been injured, it will be necessary to review the camps staff hiring and training protocols. This is also where it is important to have retained a lawyer that understands how to conduct an effective Examination for Discovery.
Millions of miles are driven in Canada without a crash each year, likewise thousands of children attend summer camp without incident. Our firm handles the situation when events have not run as smoothly, and a serious injury has been sustained. If you require information about any injury claim for your child, contact Michelle Brown for more information and an initial consultation.