Waivers Can Prevent Lawsuits When A Child Gets A Sport Injury

February 12, 2021

If you are working for a sports organization and find yourself wondering if sports liability waivers are important, the answer is yes! They are important. Read on to find out how we can use waivers to prevent lawsuits, especially when it comes to minors suffering an injury.

A waiver serves as a protection for you in the event of a lawsuit. It acts as a piece of evidence showing that the involved party is aware of the risks involved in the sport. There are many such cases in which a well-crafted waiver has helped to prevent a successful lawsuit when a child suffers from a sports injury. For example, if a child is injured during soccer practice and the parents sue the soccer club, the case may be dismissed at summary judgement due to the sports waiver that had already been signed.

However, liability waivers will not be able to give you 100% protection. Depending on the country, province, or state that you are in, laws on waivers differ and the terms required to be used in waivers may also differ. At the same time, if you are found to be breaking the law (for example being found guilty of gross negligence) or going against public policy, the court may find the waiver unenforceable.

What Does My Waiver Need to Include?

When it comes to waivers, it is important to ensure that the waiver is crafted in a clear and unambiguous manner which an ordinary person can understand. It should also state that the involved party understands the risks involved and has chosen to waive the right to sue. Take note that where minors are concerned, they are generally not considered legally competent which means that the child’s parents will need to sign on their behalf. 

Ensure that your waiver meets the three conditions below and it should be able to help protect your business/organization in the event of a lawsuit:

  • The injury sustained is related directly to the risks stated in the waiver or was sustained due to ordinary negligence.
  • The waiver is drafted properly according to your state laws.
  • The language/terms used in the waiver do not violate public policy or the law.

In doing so, you would be able to better protect your organization if an injury arises due to risks that have already been mentioned in the waiver, which is also known as common-law assumption of risk (AOR) under tort law.

What is the Difference Between Ordinary and Gross Negligence?

Some examples of ordinary negligence include protective gear falling apart or broken, injury resulting from a lapse in supervision, allowing minors to use equipment that is in disrepair.

While gross negligence refers to an action which has been deemed as disregard for the safety of others or an extreme indifference to the safety of others. For example, not insisting that the child wear a helmet in an ice hockey game or mishandling of incidents.

How to Obtain A Waiver

Signed waivers are a common way of obtaining the involved party’s signature. However, you may also wish to consider opting for an electronic waiver which allows you to obtain the waiver in advance. It can also be signed from the involved party’s smartphone/tablet/computer directly.

If you would like to explore more on electronic waivers, have a chat with us at WaiverFile today.

Disclaimer: The content on this site is not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established. To ensure your online consent form is legally binding based on your location, industry, and specific circumstances, consult a legal professional in your area.

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