Prior to participating in a school-sponsored sport, activity or field trip, schools often attempt to protect themselves from liability by requiring children and their parents to sign a waiver or release form. Many parents assume that if they have signed this form and their child is injured while participating in a school activity, there is nothing they can do. However, there are several reasons that this assumption is not accurate: (1) If the student himself signed the waiver, in most cases, his or her signature has no legal significance. Specifically, minors are unable by law to enter into a binding contract, and a waiver or release form is considered a contract. Therefore, a student can make a claim, if necessary, against a school regardless of whether he or she signed a waiver or release form. (2) A parent cannot waive his or her child’s right to sue. Although a parent may waive his own right to sue, the child’s right to assert a claim belongs only to the child and cannot be waived by his or her parents. (3) Even if the parents have signed a form, if their child dies due to the school’s negligence, the parents may still be able to seek recovery as beneficiaries of the child’s estate. (4) Many times waiver or release forms can be legally challenged based on lack of informed consent, unconscionability and overreaching, and it will be up to a jury to determine whether the form is valid and enforceable.
If your child was injured or died during a school-sponsored activity, even if you have signed a release form, contact an Arizona lawyer at Oracle Law Group P.C. Depending on the facts of your case, the wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at the Phoenix law firm Beauchamp Law Office P.C. have the experience necessary to challenge the validity of the release form, and the Phoenix injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Beauchamp Law Office P.C. will do everything possible to make certain that the release form does not prevent you from recovering for your child’s injuries or death. Contact the Phoenix Arizona lawyers at Oracle Law Group P.C. today to see how they can help with your wrongful death or personal injury cases.