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Summer Injuries Can Turn Into Lawsuits

Posted on June 1, 2016

If you look forward to summer, you’re not alone. The break from school, coupled with the nicer weather and outdoor activities, make summer a thoroughly enjoyable season. Yet summer has its share of hazards, which in turn can cause injuries that can become a reason for a lawsuit. From summer camp to swimming to teen drivers, here are some common incidents that could easily escalate into litigation.

Summer Camps

The potential injuries that summer campers could suffer are widespread—and range from sprains or broken bones to more serious offenses like sexual abuse or drowning. The camps themselves are legally required to take reasonable precautions, such as having adequate supervision for activities, not taking campers swimming in an area known to be dangerous, and doing background checks on each of their employees. Under premises liability, if serious injury were to occur, and could have been prevented, the camp could be found negligent if those precautions were not in place.

If the camp is a specialty camp, such as for football or horseback riding, there is greater chance for injury. In these cases, parents often are asked to sign a “hold harmless” waiver, absolving the camp from liability for injury or death. Signing a waiver doesn’t mean you can’t sue. Not all liability waivers are enforceable; most cover ordinary situations and some are so broad that courts generally rule them ineffective. In addition, in cases of gross negligence, you may have a case.

Home Swimming Pools

If you’re a homeowner with a pool, you could be liable for any injuries that happen there. For example, if a swimmer is hurt – or worse - drowns, you could be responsible. That’s true even if the swimmer was a trespasser and you had no idea he or she was on the premises.

Homeowners are required to take reasonable care in making their pool area safe. That means to properly secure it from trespassers, and to maintain it so it is safe to use for family and guests.

Teen Drivers

School’s out, and many teens have summer jobs. That means that there are quite a few inexperienced drivers on the road. It’s one reason that AAA, in an article in USA Today, called the period following Memorial Day the “100 deadliest days of the summer driving season.”

“Crashes for drivers aged 16 to 19 increase significantly during the summer months because more are driving, pushing the average number of deaths up 16% over other times of the year,” according to the article. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents among teen drivers, leading to nearly 4,000 crashes and 18 deaths among 16 and 17 year olds in Pennsylvania in the last five years, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Do you have questions about a potential lawsuit? Let’s discuss it, no charge, right here in our office. Contact us today.