Sports are an excellent way for young people to stay active and develop important social skills. Unfortunately, any physical activity carries with it the risk of physical injury. This is especially true for team-based contact sports such as football, soccer, baseball, or hockey. Sports injuries can result in significant medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, or loss of future earning potential. After a sports injury, many parents want to know if they can sue the responsible party or parties to recover for these and other losses. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney at The Levin Firm is the best way to determine whether you have a claim, and also to maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Generally speaking, people cannot sue for sports injuries that are sustained through the normal course of a sporting event. For example, a football player that sustained a concussion in a particularly hard tackle probably would not have a legal claim. This is due to the legal doctrine of “assumption of the risk,” which holds that when people engage in dangerous activities they assume the risk of injury. There are some situations, however, in which a person may be able to sue. These include the following:
- Intentional Acts – If another player intentionally injures your child, you may be able to sue them for any losses that your incur. Examples of this situation include fights or intentionally injuring an opponent when play has stopped.
- Recklessness – An athlete that recklessly injures another athlete may be held liable for the injuries that result. For example, if a batter intentionally threw a bat into the field and hit an opponent, an injury claim may arise.
- Products Liability – Under products liability law, defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed sports equipment that causes injury may give rise to a legal claim.
- Negligent Coaching – If a coach fails to recognize a player’s inability to compete at a particular level or an inherent danger in playing (i.e. wet playing surfaces), he or she could potentially be held liable for any injuries that arise.