While millions of children and adults engage in sporting activities and suffer few injuries, there are times when a sports injury can be life-changing or even life-threatening. While injuries are a natural part of playing sports, and those who participate assume an inherent risk of getting injured, that does not mean, you cannot file a personal injury claim if an injury occurs. In most cases, if the injury was caused by another person’s negligence, recklessness, or direct intent to inflict harm on you, speaking with a personal injury attorney is highly recommended.
Assumption of Risk Doctrine
In the United States, there is a legal clause known as the “assumption of risk doctrine.” Generally, this means those willingly participating in sports cannot hold other participants liable for injuries sustained during the course of the activity. While this sounds as if no injury claims can be filed, that is not the case. When participating in a sport, a participant is only assuming risks of injuries that would occur under normal and reasonable circumstances. For example, if a tennis player is hit in the face by the ball during a standard exchange and suffers a broken nose, an injury claim likely would not be successful. However, if that same player suffered a broken nose due to their opponent intentionally throwing a racket at them, a personal injury lawsuit would likely be upheld in court.
How to Prove Negligence
When filing a personal injury claim for a sports injury, the plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of the defendant. To do so, it must be shown the defendant’s negligence caused the injury, or the defendant intentionally caused the injury. As with most personal injury cases, it must be proven the standard of care a reasonable person would expect was breached. This can be done in several ways, including:
–Defendant owed duty of care to plaintiff
–Defendant breached that duty
–Causal connection exists between breach of duty and the injury
–Injury was foreseeable based on defendant’s actions
–Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of defendant’s actions
Sports Injury Claims
Just as there are many types of sports in which one can participate, there are also various types of sports injury claims that can be filed, such as:
Examples of these claims can vary. For example, if a swimmer was injured and the lifeguard on duty failed to act in a reasonable manner, a lawsuit could be filed. Other examples include a basketball player who slips and falls on the court due to a puddle that was not wiped up, a weightlifter who is injured due to a weight bench that was not properly assembled, or a cyclist sustaining a head injury due to a helmet that did not meet the required safety guidelines.
If you or a loved one have sustained a sports injury due to the negligence, carelessness, or deliberate acts of others, contact a personal injury attorney at once to discuss your legal options.