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Who's Liable for a School Field Trip Injury?

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

The weather is nice and your child's school may be setting up a field trip to the local zoo or amusement park. While these trips can be both educational and fun, these jaunts away from school can also be ripe for field trip injuries.

So what happens if your son is bitten by a goat at a petting zoo? Or your daughter falls off the Ferris wheel at the park? These injuries have happened, and they can lead to legal liability.

Both schools and the business can be held responsible for your child's injuries. However, you should also be aware of the effect of waivers of liability.

First, you should know that businesses who run an operation open to the public can be held liable for injuries that occur on their property. Businesses owe a duty to keep their premises safe to the public. This can include maintaining equipment, installing safety devices, and putting up warning signs. So if an amusement park ride malfunctions and your child is injured, the operators of the amusement park could be held responsible.

Along with the business, parents may also sue the school for their child's injuries. After all, your child is supposed to be supervised by school personnel during these field trips. So if your child is injured due to neglect or poor supervision, you could have a claim against the school.

Finally, you should be aware of the effect of waivers of liability. In most cases, if your child goes on a school field trip, the school will require the parent to sign a waiver and release of liability. Keep in mind that these waivers are not always enforceable and the fact that you sign one is not necessarily fatal to your ability to collect for a field trip injury.

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