Taking part in sports is inherently risky, as most sports involve a lot of player collisions and contact, resulting in a greater risk for injury. In fact, an estimated 8.6 million sports-related injuries are reported each year. According to CDC, approximately 1.7 to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries related to sports happen each year in the US. Due to the high risk of injury involved in sports, players must sign a consent waiver to assume the risk of potential injuries when playing sports.
Under the law, the assumed risk is typically injuries sustained reasonably when playing sports. This prevents injured players from suing due to the inherent risk of playing a sport. However, some injuries may occur outside the inherent risks in a sport. That’s where a traumatic brain injury lawyer comes in to evaluate the specific case, gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence, and help the injured player recover damages. Here are a few sports-related injury claims that may require filing a negligence lawsuit:
1. Intentional Misconduct
If a player intentionally injures another player, it’s possible to file a lawsuit for the injuries sustained. It may also be possible to file a lawsuit if a player deliberately attacks or harms an opponent, injuring them after the game has ended. It’s also possible to press a criminal charge against a player, depending on the specific situation. An entity or person that let the intentional misconduct happen may also be held liable for the injuries.
2. Negligent Coaching
Coaches and other sports officials, such as referees, have a responsibility to enforce the set rules to ensure the safety of all players. If the person entrusted to oversee the sport becomes negligent in fulfilling their duties, a lawsuit can be filed against them for any sustained injuries. Such negligence instances may include failure to allocate adequate resting breaks, lack of adequate equipment provision, inadequacy in explaining the governing rules, or failure to respond in time in case of a medical emergency. Negligent coaching is one of the most common allegations of sports injuries. If a coach, for some reason, puts the player in a dangerous or unreasonable situation, then they should be held accountable for the neglect.
3. Defective Equipment
The product liability law allows for a legal claim to be filed for defectively marketed, designed, or manufactured sporting equipment. Poorly designed equipment poses an imminent danger to athletes and civilian participants. In such instances, a claim may be filed against the equipment supplier, the retailer, or even the manufacturer in case it was a design flaw.
Product liability is a valid claim if a mask, helmet, or any other protective gear was damaged or flawed prior to its subsequent use. Product liability claims are unique in that they are only filed against the equipment distributor or manufacturer, alleging that the manufacturer failed to communicate clearly about the defects and dangers of using their product. Other cases may allege that the product in question is unsafe for the advertised utility it provides.
It is almost impossible to accurately predict the scenarios that could subject people to liability arising from sporting activity. However, irrespective of the type of claim you intend to file, it must be accompanied by strong evidence sufficient to support your negligence claim. By proving that negligence was involved in a sports injury case, you’ll be confident of winning the lawsuit and ensuring that your client is well compensated for their losses, including payment of medical bills and lost work time.