A release of liability form states that parents or guardians won't take legal recourse against an organisation for accidents involving their children during an activity. While release of liability forms for adults and minors are similar, a few extra considerations apply for young people. Additionally, a release of liability form for a minor often serves as a permission slip; while adults can consent to travel for activities, children cannot.
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Type spaces at the top of your document in which to insert the child's identifying information: name, address and home phone number.
Type spaces under the child's identifying information for the parent's identifying information (name and phone numbers). You want to obtain all possible phone numbers for the parents in case of emergencies, so include spaces for work and cell phone numbers.
Include a line for an emergency contact person; require parents to provide this contact in case you cannot reach them.
Type spaces for health care information, including name and phone number of primary physician and any allergies.
Provide a clause authorising emergency care. Text for the authorisation to obtain emergency care might read: "I, [insert name], give permission for [name of organization] to seek urgent or emergency medical services for [name of child]. I agree to incur all financial liabilities required if care becomes necessary. I understand that [name of organization] will contact me before care is needed, but in the event I am unavailable, care will be sought without my immediate consent."
Include a signature line for the parents and spaces for insurance information.
Include a section for permission to participate, including a waiver of liability and indemnity agreement. For example: "I, [name of parent], give permission for [child's name] to participate in all activities of [organization] between [start date] and [end date]. I release [organization] from all liabilities, including any injury to my child arising from participation in activities. I agree to indemnify [organization] for any liability due to the child's participation in activities."
Although some permission statements include a waiver of damages due to gross negligence, many courts, including the California Supreme Court, have ruled that parents still may sue and refuse to indemnify an organization negligent of minimum levels of care. (See References 1)
Create lines for adult signatures, printed names and signing date.
Tips and warnings
- If the activity will result in any photographs used for sales or marketing (or more generally, used in a non-editorial manner), you must obtain permission for this, as well.
- Always include information relevant to the purpose of the liability waiver. For example, the guardian should attest to the child's physical fitness for an active summer camp.
- Ask a lawyer to read over your liability waiver before using it.
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