Personal Injuries are commonplace among amateur–and professional–athletes, but does the law afford the injured party any option? This post deals with the legal issues of assumption of risk, and liability for injuries sustained in amateur sports.
A wide variety of sports can potentially lead to liability lawsuits, including:
- Water sports
- Skiing and snowboarding
- Team sports, such as soccer and (American) football
General Guideline– No Injury Liability
In a lot of cases, you will not be able to hold anyone else accountable for an injury you suffered while participating in recreational or amateur sports activities. Injuries are an accepted threat of playing amateur sports, so bringing a successful accident claim is very hard, if not impossible. However there are a couple of situations that might activate the legal liability of another participant in the sport, or the liability of a third party.
Assumed Risk of Injury in Sports
The legal teaching of “assumption of the danger” bars you from trying to hold fellow individuals or property/facility owners responsible when you are injured while playing a sport or game, as long as the scenarios that caused your injury were fundamental to– or at least reasonably related to– the sport. The concept behind “assumption of the threat” in this context is that, by consenting to participate in the sport or activity, you have actually also consented to assume the possibility that you’ll be injured.
If you blow out your knee playing Ultimate Frisbee or get a concussion in a pick-up video game of tackle football, you most likely can’t hold anyone else responsible for those injuries.
Injury Triggered by “Unreasonable” Habits
But if your injury was the result of unreasonably aggressive behavior on the part of another individual– you’re playing basketball and the person you’re securing punches you in the face because he doesn’t like the way you play defense– assumption of risk wouldn’t bar you from pursuing an intentional tort claim against the individual who hit you.
Injuries Brought on by Devices Failure
If your injury was caused by (or made worse by) sports equipment or some other item that was faulty or didn’t perform the method it was expected to under the circumstances, you may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.
For example, if the head of a golf club separates mid-swing and strikes somebody in the temple triggering long-term brain injury, the manufacturer of the golf club may be held accountable for damages.
Liability for High School Brain Injury
As courts, schools, parents, and medical professionals become significantly interested in the risk of brain injury among high school students, you should know your legal alternatives if your child is injured taking part or playing a sport in a high school sponsored activity. Whether your kid suffers a concussion during an athletic competition, or is hurt on school grounds, you may have a chance to get compensation for the expenses associated with the injury. Suing a high school is made complex and difficult, and you need to not take legal action without very first consulting a lawyer.
Concussions in High School Sports
The most typical reason for brain injury to high school athletes is a concussion.
Concussion awareness has enhanced at all levels of sport, and you need to be able to keep close track of potential concussion-like symptoms must your child suffer a head injury. According to the Center for Illness Control, a concussion can occur even if the child does not lose consciousness, and determining signs can prevent major brain injury or death. Typical concussion symptoms listed by the CDC include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance issues or dizziness
- Level of sensitivity to noise or light
- Concentration or memory problems
- Mood swings
- Awkward movement soon after the occasion
Sadly, it has actually shown hard to win a suit over a concussion suffered by a student athlete. Courts have hesitated to enforce liability on schools or coaches for students suffering concussions because it is tough to prove coaches or instructors were negligent in the reason for the concussion, and, even if the school officials were negligent, it is difficult to overcome school district immunity for injuries suffered throughout leisure activities. While this does not imply you must desert the possibility of legal action if your kid suffers a concussion while playing a sport, it strengthens the need for an examination with an experienced accident before you take action.
If your kid suffered a concussion because of malfunctioning devices, incompetence of the training staff, or an intentional act of violence by a coach or fellow player, you have a better possibility of success than if your kid suffered a head injury during the normal course of his or her sport. It is important that you have an in-depth account of the circumstances prior to, throughout, and after the injury to assist your lawyer build a prospective legal case.
Other Brain Injuries to High School Students
High school athletes are not the only children at risk of suffering a distressing brain injury while under the care of their high school. Students can be harmed after a slip and fall accident at school, suffer an injury in driver’s education, be hurt in a fight, or get harmed in an accident while in a school bus or other vehicle under control of the school. When filing a suit for an injury to your high school student, the standard negligence rules use:
You should develop the school had a task to your kid. This is accomplished by showing the child was injured while under the care or control of the school or an employee.
You must show the school breached its task of care. If a teacher failed to keep track of your kid before his or her injury, or a janitor cannot clean up a wet spot on the floor, or a school staff member otherwise cannot supply the expected requirement of care to safeguard your child, then you may be able to reveal the school breached its responsibility.
You have to have the ability to show the school’s breach caused your child’s injury. Showing cause is not as simple as you think as defendants are usually only responsible for causing an injury if the accident was a foreseeable result of the breach in responsibility – implying the breach and the injury have to be closely linked in a rational chain of occasions.
You should show your kid suffered an injury. If you child suffered a physical injury, this must be fairly easy to do. Psychological damage is more difficult, however possible, to show.
Even if you satisfy all the components of neglect, you will have to overcome the concern of government resistance that secures school districts from claims. Federal government resistance laws differ from one state to another, so you will have to speak with an attorney in your area before you take legal action versus your child’s school.
Whatever the scenario, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who is experienced in sports injury cases. A lawyer will assist you arrange through the situations behind the injury and the persons who might be responsible. Suing a government entity like a high school is hard enough with a lawyer, so do not put yourself at a disadvantage by taking on your kid’s high school without legal support.