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Did Your High School Kid Sign A Release Form? These Four Things May Invalidate The Release

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Sports organizers or schools don't like to be sued when participants or sportspersons get injured on their watch. This is why they often hand out release forms for participants to sign. The release forms absolve the organizers from injury liabilities should the participants get injured. However, this is only possible if the release form is valid. For example, if your child signed a release form, you may be able to invalidate it by proving these four things:

The Child Wasn't Capable Of Contracting

A release form is a contract, and just like any other contract, some people don't have the capacity to sign it. For example, a minor, intoxicated, or mentally incapacitated person should not sign a contract because they lack the capacity to understand the terms of the contract.

Therefore, this is one of the grounds you can use to challenge a release form signed by a 14-year-old. This is why most schools require the parents, and not the child, to sign release forms before kids can participate in sports.

The Child Was Coerced Into Signing the Form

A contract is only valid if all parties enter into it willingly. Therefore, you may be able to invalidate a release if you can prove that the kid signed it under duress. A school can coerce a student into signing a release in various ways. For example, it may threaten the student with a bad grade in a subject if they don't sign.

The Child Mistook the Release for Another Form

The law protects those who enter into contracts unknowingly or mistakenly. Therefore, you can also render the release invalid if you can prove that the child mistook the release form for another thing. This may be the case, for example, if a petition for increased participation in sports activities was going around the school at the same time that the child signed the release. The child can argue that they thought they were signing the petition and not the release.

The School Obtained the Child's Signature Fraudulently

Fraud, if proven, automatically invalidates any contract. This is especially true if the fraud caused the signatory (in this case the child) to sign the form or is the cause of their injury. For example, a school is guilty of fraud if it promises to restrict your child's participation to a certain number of games, and then goes ahead to force the child to participate in more games. You can invalidate the release and sue the school if the child gets injured due to overstraining.

Whatever approach you decide to take, you will have to back it up; the court won't just take your word for it. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way to strengthen your case.