Unfortunately, injuries are often part of the game when your kid is involved in sports. Some of these are minor, such as scrapes, bruises, and sprains. Other times, an injury can take a kid out of their season and have lasting impacts. While most injuries are accidental, sometimes they are caused by someone else’s negligence. What happens if you feel that someone is to blame for what happened to your child during a sports practice or game? In this post, we’ll provide some general information on when you might have reason to take legal action.
Assumption of Risk
It’s important to acknowledge that all sports carry a certain level of risk. Further, some sports carry a higher level of risk than others.
- Contact sports such as tackle football, hockey, or martial arts have increased risks of fractures, sprains, and concussions.
- Endurance sports such as cross country or rowing have increased risks of overuse injuries and strained tendons.
- Tumbling sports such as gymnastics and cheerleading have increased risks of lower extremity injuries and back sprains.
When you agree to let your child participate in sports, you do so with the understanding that sometimes injuries happen. Schools and clubs will usually require you sign a waiver acknowledging these risks.
Unreasonably Unsafe Situations
While we know that some risks are inherent in sports, there are times when a situation is unreasonably safe. If your child has been injured because of this type of circumstance, you may be able to take legal action.
Here are some hypothetical examples:
- A coach has a younger team scrimmage with a much older, bigger team to “rough them up” a little.
- A coach withholds water from his track team on a very hot day because they failed to hit their prescribed paces.
- A boy on a team is a known bully who continues to physically and emotionally abuse one of his teammates. Despite repeated meetings with the boy’s parents and coach, the boy remains on the team and his actions go unchecked.
If your child was injured in a situation like this, you may have legal options. These injuries are beyond what is to be expected through the course of playing a sport. In short, these are preventable injuries where someone has failed to keep your child safe.
Basis for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Not every injury, accident, or bad behavior warrants a lawsuit. In general, you need the following four elements to be present:
- Injuries. Was your child actually injured? Did they seek medical attention?
- Damages. Damages can be economic (such as doctor and hospital bills) and non-economic (such as pain and suffering). You need to demonstrate how your child was harmed as a result of their injury.
- Duty of Care. Simply put, was someone responsible for keeping your child safe? This could be a coach, a school, a club, a volunteer, or someone else.
- Breach of Duty. Did someone fail to keep your child safe?
If you believe your child’s injury has all of these components, it’s time to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
It’s free to speak with a lawyer from our team, and you’re under no obligation. Should we choose to work together, you’ll only pay us a fee if we’re able to win your child a settlement. Call or message us today.