The popularity of competitive team sports has exploded in the United Statesbut we haven’t been able to keep up with all the inherent dangers that exist in those sports. Despite a growing awareness of the risks such as head injuriesin all kinds of contact sports, and serious knee injuries in teenage athletes, the older attitudes of competitiveness sometimes prevail over safety concerns. Andplayers and participants continue to be vulnerable to very serious injuries.
Not yet gone are the days of coaches encouraging young players to “suck it up” and play through an injury. Coaches still routinely send an injured player back in the game in order to secure a win. And some players, ignoring the dangers involved may still opt for the illegal hit that can leave a player lying on the field.
Head injuries in nearly every contact sport are becoming a serious problem. Congress held hearings recently to determine a course of action that might reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries from the professional level down to Little League. Today, more and more people are aware of the risks of head injuries and they will remove athletes from the game who may have suffered a concussion or other head injury. Still there are many coaches, teachers and instructors who ignore the risks or do not properly follow the proper guidelines and protocols. These errors in judgment can lead to devastating injuries to athletes of all ages.
When you or your son or daughter or other family member has been seriously injured in a game or any kind of sports accident, and you believe that the injury was preventable or due to someone’s negligence or intentional conduct, you should seek immediate medical attention and consult with Menzer Law Firm, PLLC.
Who is Liable?
Sports are supposed to be all in fun, right? In theory, maybe. But when schools, colleges, and other sports clubs put winning above everything, and when coaches and administrators who command 6 and 7 figure salaries have their jobs on the line, the protocols and rules that should be in place to protect players are often ignored. When these organizations and individuals fail to follow the guidelines set out to protect their players’ safety, they are liable for the injuries that result.
And sometimes the player who injures another player is the liable party. Although many sports come with physical contact and a certain amount of risk of injury, when a player steps outside of the rules and either intentionally or recklessly does something that seriously injures another player, he or she can be found liable for the injury and damages.
Sports Law Involves Many Sports and Recreational Activities
Beyond organized team sports, sports injuries can occur in many different places and circumstances. Facilities for sporting activities, such as ski resorts, private bike trails, trampolines, skateboard parks, and public and private swimming pools offer recreational activities for many people . The rules and guidelines for each of these can be complex and varied.
Ski resorts for example are required to properly mark their runs and assign them the appropriate difficulty level. They are also required to remove or adequately mark hazards while maintaining reasonably safe snow conditions.
Other sports facilities, such as pools and water parks, have regulations and statutes they must follow to minimize the dangers and protect participants from injury.
Most facilities require that you sign some sort of waiver of any claims against the owner in the event of serious injury. In Washington, often times these waivers are not legally binding. They don’t generally exclude the owners or operators from their negligence or illegal acts.
Compensation for injuries
Sports injury law can be quite complex. If you have been injured in any sporting event or activity, don’t let your coach, team owner, opposing player or the language of a waiver form stop you from seeking legal advice. Your injury may affect the rest of your life. If a person or a corporation is legally responsible for your injuries, then you should pursue reasonable compensation for your injuries and losses.