If your children are old enough to attend school, you have received requests to sign permission forms that authorize participation in special programs or off-site events like field trips. These activities offer great opportunities to enrich a child’s education, but often involve a certain amount of risk.
Permission forms are not waivers of liability
While a permission slip is not the same as a waiver of liability, they often contain similar language. Permission slips will describe the activity, any associated risks, and asks a parent or guardian to consent to participation.
The language in a waiver will be stronger, and usually includes something to the effect that the signatories will not pursue any legal or civil claims against the school and/or activity providers in the event of an injury. This post deals with the legality of school permission forms.
How permission forms impact potential liability
The purpose of a permission form is to provide contemporaneous evidence that a student and their parent or guardian was aware of the activity and reasonable risks, and consented to participation.
A properly written and signed permission form will protect school boards from liability for injuries arising in the normal course of extra-curricular or field trip activities. In signing the form, a parent or guardian is confirming that they understood the nature of the activity, and the usual risks associated with it.
If any injuries were the result of negligence, no permission slip will absolve a school board or other responsible party from liability. Students are not able to “contract out” of negligence, and are not considered to have assumed any risk of negligence by signing a permission form.
Personal injury lawyers representing children injured as the result of negligence
If your child is injured during a school activity or field trip, you need a lawyer that specializes in personal injury matters, and understands how permission forms and waivers can impact a potential claim.
We offer free consultations to new clients. Contact us today to discuss your child’s potential claim, either online, or by calling our office at 416-967-9100.