Sports form a huge part of our lives, and without a doubt, it’s among most people’s favorite pastime activities around the world. In the United States, more than 30 million children and teenagers participate in some form of sport every year, and injuries related to sporting activities are far too common.
The majority of these injuries are impact-related, either from contact with another player or a nasty fall. Risks of injury often vary with the sport, as detailed in a recent report.
What You Need to Know
Under most circumstances, you cannot sue for an injury arising from the normal course of play in a sport. It is assumed that you knew the risks involved before you decided to play, and as such, all participants are not liable for injuries that directly arise from play within a game’s regulations.
Accidental injuries are generally not grounds for a personal injury claim. This legal doctrine is known as the assumption of risk. Most sport-related injury cases are dismissed on this legal basis.
However, for such legal grounds to hold, a reasonably prudent person should be able to anticipate the occurrence of such an injury, as well as the action that caused it. For instance, injuries arising out of hostility among players may not constitute an assumption of risk. Incidences such as punching, kicking, or tripping, deemed unreasonable within the sport’s play, are not covered by the doctrine. In such a case, you can hold the other party liable for your injuries.
Sports Injuries Liability
In sports where a duty of care is owed to the participant, coaches, as well as other players, can be held liable when it is proven they were negligent in carrying out their actions or failed to act as expected. For instance, a gym owner may be held liable in the event of any of the following:
- Injuries arising due to negligence of the instructor, or faulty equipment
- Lack of reasonable safety measures that would have averted the injury, otherwise known as premise liability
- The circumstances foreboding the injuries were not within reasonable risk assumed by the users
Such facilities may ask you to sign waivers absolving them from any fault in the event of an accident. Nevertheless, such written liability releases are not always enforceable if the accident was negligent or willful. The circumstances that lead to the accident separate assumed risk and liability.
To prove negligence, the defendant must owe the claimant a duty of care. The burden of proof is to show that the injuries and other types of damages sought were caused by this breach of duty of care. Such damages may take the form of physical injuries, current and future medical bills, and even lost income when recuperating.
Can You Sue for Sports Injuries?
The question of whether you have a claim in a sports injury depends on the specifics surrounding the accident. There is a thin line between the assumption of risk and liability, and the intention to harm or negligence may be difficult to prove before a judge.
As such, it is very important to get in touch with an attorney who will help determine if you have a case where you are entitled to a personal injury settlement. The insurance companies of the at-fault party will settle your claims.
In addition to helping you decipher liability, your personal injury lawyer will also come in handy if there are child injury claims, multiple liable parties, and if product liability arises, all of which have different legal landscapes.
High-risk injuries are life-changing and command bigger claims, but the legal technicalities may bar you from a fair settlement.
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