I have written on personal injury claims and traumatic brain injuries before, but with the growing media attention on the prominent damage awards for concussion related injuries in professional sports, such as the NFL billion-dollar settlement with its players, the ongoing struggles of Canada’s best hockey player Sidney Crosby with concussion injuries, and new research that concludes that kids under 18 should not play contact sports, I wanted to explain to those seeking compensation for concussion injuries that there has been a “trickle-down” effect. Now damages are frequently sought for concussions caused by playing sports at even the most basic levels, reaching down to our young children playing sports in our schools and communities. Continue reading
Camp can be a wonderful experience for children opening their worlds to new skills and opportunities. Today summer camp takes many forms, including day camps focusing on one particular activity or skill, such as soccer or computer camps. The “old school” summer camp still thrives, however, frequently located on a lake or a river, or in the mountains or a forest, and offering a range of learning and recreational activities, including swimming, rowing, canoeing, horseback riding and archery.
While every parent wants their child to have a safe experience at summer camp, injuries can occur. These include:
- Tragic drowning or near drowning accidents that may be due to inadequate supervision by camp counselors with little experience, who leave their posts, or are distracted by their cell phones or others;
- Other incidents of wrongful death, caused by a fall or exposure to a fire hazard;
- Sexual abuse of your child by camp counselors or other camp staff;
- Physical injuries, caused by faulty, poorly maintained or hazardous camp lodgings and facilities;
- Burn injuries, perhaps caused by improper supervision around campfires;
- Injuries from bullying by other children, or otherwise being subjected to violence, including emotional trauma; and
- Infectious diseases spreading throughout the camp population.
It’s the end of June and school will soon be out for elementary, junior and senior high school age children. The summer means more kids on bikes, skateboards, and on foot (plugged into their smartphones). It also means an uptick in young people learning to drive. All of these things increase the potential for injuries to children. For drivers, this means you need to tune up your “kid radar” and drive defensively with a view to doing your part to ensure their safety and to protect yourself against liability.
In Alberta, ss. 185 and 186 of the Traffic Safety Act create a reverse presumption against drivers, such that if there is a collision between a motorist and a non-motorist (for example, a collision between a car and a child walking or on a bike), the onus is on the driver of the vehicle to prove that the accident did not arise solely because of their negligent operation of the vehicle. Continue reading