We know that sports are fun. But there is always a risk for injury.
If you have been injured while engaging in a sport or during a recreational activity then we can help. The Lawyers at Adley Law Firm will carefully examine your injury and review your case to determine the best course of action to help you recover.
We have decades of experience representing clients who have suffered injuries due to negligence or defective products. Please contact us at (713) 999-8669 or schedule a free consultation.
The damages that a plaintiff can claim in a sports injury suit are usually financial damages. A defendant found liable for a sports injury may be required to reimburse the plaintiff for the following damages:
There is usually a risk for injury when you’re playing a sport or engaging in some other form of physical activity. However, in some cases the injury may be due to someone else’s negligence.
Owners or operators of the facility where you got injured may be held liable for damages resulting from their negligence.
There is an inherent danger and risk of injury if a facility is not properly maintained. Proper maintenance of a facility and proper safety measures will greatly reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring. In some cases, sports fields, pools, skate parks, ski resorts and other recreational facilities simply do not adequately maintain their facilities. As a result, avoidable injuries occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
There are two different types of sports injuries, those caused by a traumatic impact such as a blow or strike to the head, and those caused by overuse of a particular body part such as tennis elbow.
Sports law claims involve a broad variety of different injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, joint injuries, and sprains.
Most legal claims involving a sports injury include a traumatic injury rather than an overuse type of injury. This is because you cannot hold the injurer liable for his/ her injuries due to overexertion. However, if a participant causes the injury to another participant then this may hold the basis for a civil lawsuit.
There may be a lot of risk and injury involved but such injuries are assumed to happen while engaging in the sport. Like a fighter who just finished a long, hard-fought boxing match understands that split lips, concussions, broken noses, and bruising are all injuries that come with the contact sport. However, if you were injured at a bar then that is a different story, you would call the police and possibly a lawyer.
The assumption of risk doctrine states that any participant who voluntarily participates in a sporting activity cannot hold the other liable for their injuries that occurred during the game. Also, co-participants cannot be held liable since you voluntarily decided to play and knew the risk of possibly getting injured by other players.
If there was no assumption of risk doctrine, then athletes of all contact sports could continuously sue each other. However, agreeing to partake in a sport does not mean that the player is assuming any and all risk of injury. They are only assuming the risk of severe injuries that can arise during the course of their participation in the sport.
Even though you may know the risk of injury when participating in a sport, there are some that are excluded from the Assumption of Risk theory. These legal theories are applied differently depending on the nature of the sport.
Some exclusions to assumption of risk theory are:
Negligence Standard: If a player’s negligence causes another’s injury, they can be held liable for damages. Negligence requires proof that the defendants breach of duty of care caused the plaintiff’s injury. For example, a player fails to follow the safety rules of the game.
Wanton Or Willful Conduct Standard: The “contact sports exception” states that a defendant is liable only if their conduct was wanton or willful. This means that the defendant acted intentionally in causing the injury. The level of force usually exceeds the normal force exerted in the contact sport. An example of this is where a player engages in a fistfight during a football game.
Defective Or Faulty Equipment: If there was a defective or faulty sports equipment when you voluntarily play the game and as a result injures you, you may have a claim against the owner of the property or equipment manufacturer.
There are times when you may be entitled to damages, despite the assumption of risk. If the hazard that caused your injury was caused by the reckless or intentional conduct of another individual, was concealed, or was outside the realm of the risks already present in the sporting activity you were participating in, you may be able to successfully seek damages.
For example, if you’re on the expert-level ski slope and a fellow skier emerges from behind the trees without watching where she’s going, darting into your path at a high speed, in violation of trail rules, you might be able to seek damages if you are injured.
Although the standard is high, the law still gives you the right to be compensated for legitimate injury caused by the actions of somebody whose recklessness falls outside a particular sport.
Many sports injuries are accidental and occur as an inherent risk in participation. However, some injuries are the result of a negligent act on the part of a player, coach, supervisor, or equipment provider.
A simple violation of a rule by a participant, committing a foul does NOT create liability or negligence. For a player to be liable, his or her actions must go well beyond what is considered normal activity for the sport, and demonstrate intent to injure or complete indifference towards the safety of the victim.
At times, a failure on the part of coaches, supervisors, or referees to properly oversee and instruct athletic participants can lead to injury. Even though, supervisors and organizations are responsible for providing safe facilities and proper equipment.
Dangerous conditions on a field or court can lead to twisted ankles and broken bones. The safety equipment provided by the organization must be effective and void of any defects. If safety equipment is found to be faulty or unreliable, liability can often fall on manufacturers form of a product liability lawsuit.
Other sources of negligence can include inadequate medical care and irresponsible training methods.
Any participant or their parents are required to sign a liability waiver that excuses the organization and its coaches from being held liable of any injuries. If the injury is a direct result of the organization’s negligence then a liability waiver will not automatically refute a claim. Coaches, organizations, and supervisors still have a legal duty to provide safe equipment and facilities to sports participants.
In other cases, the waiver could use language that is too vague; simply waiving “any and all liability” can be considered insufficient.
There are other legal arguments that can be made against liability waivers. It is also important to note that signing a waiver is not necessarily fatal to your compensation claim.
Football is one of the most dangerous contact sports to play. There are many injuries involved and some of them are severe.
Other sports such as lacrosse, soccer, racquetball, and even track all present a risk of injury.
In addition, skiers and snowboarders will start hitting the slopes in the winter, creating opportunities for winter sports injuries, including collisions with other snow enthusiasts.
Sports injuries can be costly, both in terms of medical bills and income lost while recovering. They are also quite painful and debilitating.
What happens if you’re injured because of the actions of another participant in the sport? Can you sue them? Are you entitled to any damages from them?
The assumption of risk doctrine states that individuals who choose to participate in sports and recreational activities consent to the risks that are associated with the sport. For example, if a left-fielder and a center-fielder both chase a fly ball that hit deep into the outfield, causing the players to collide, neither will likely be able to sue the other. By participating in the sport, you assume the risk of being hurt. However, you may be able to recover from a jogger who negligently runs into you on a sidewalk while you walk to work.
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