Published on:

Parents, Personal Injuries, Lawsuits – What Florida Parents Need to Know

Many schools and even local after-school programs have been sending release forms home with children for years. The release forms were mandatory for a child to participate in a specific activity and essentially was a promise that the parent would not sue if the child suffered a personal injury as a result of the activity. The forms made it easier for insurance companies and gave activity planners some peace of mind.

The rules have now changed, after the Florida Supreme Court decided that such release forms are not valid for commercial activities such as ATV courses, go-carts and similar activities. Florida businesses can now be sued if any injuries to minors and children take place on the premises. Business will now have to improve their liability insurance or stop accepting children as patrons. Non-profit activities related to church groups, Scouts, school groups and other similar activities will not be affected by the ruling.

Some legal experts note that the new ruling does open up the possibility of lawsuits even in the case of non-profits, however, since commercial and non-profit activities are often combined for school aged children. For example, church groups or schools may want to take children to Disney World, a non-profit group may transport children via charter bus. Some attorneys predict that in these cases, lawsuits may result after the new ruling.

Attorney Bard Rockenbach, who was involved in the Florida Supreme Court that returned the ruling says that businesses should be able to run their businesses safely. He believes that the possibility of lawsuits will ensure that all Florida businesses do everything possible to make their businesses safe.

The Florida Supreme Court case of Kirton vs. Fields was the result of a fatal all-terrain vehicle ride. In 2003, a father allowed his child to take a ride on an all-terrain vehicle at a motorsport park. He signed waiver promising not to sue. The child was killed during a jump when the ATV landed on top of him. The family sued the park and a trial court sided with the motorsport park because of the waiver the father had signed. An appeals court had reversed the ruling before the case was heard before the Supreme Court.

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Mr. Flaxman is highly skilled and very pleasant to work with. He communicated with me at every step in the process, and clearly presented information relating to my case. To anyone considering retaining his firm, I highly recommend him. Clara Barman
★★★★★
THE BEST. Honest, very knowledgeable, fast and easy. has helped me in numerous situations and has never failed me. Joe Gee
★★★★★
Charlie is a very skilled attorney that advocates hard for his clients. But the best part is he is an all around great guy. He cares about helping and doing what is right for people and his community. And he is not afraid to fight against those who do wrong or against threats to our world. He is fluent in Spanish as well. Do yourself a favor and call him. Andy
★★★★★
I had a lawyer on another case and I never spoke to the lawyer and I hated that I never knew what was going on in my case. Mr. Flaxman was in constant communication with me, explained everything to me, and his staff was really great too. My phone calls were always returned immediately. It was refreshing to be able to speak to my attorney personally. I would HIGHLY recommend Mr. Flaxman as an attorney to anyone who has been in an accident. Gloria
★★★★★
I found Mr. Flaxman to be an excellent attorney for my personal injury case. This is actually the second time I have used him and he really represented my interests. He explained everything thoroughly and he was very available for my questions. Carol