Sports Injuries: Who’s Liable?
We all know that there are many healthy benefits that come from sports and recreational activities, however, there are also many risks and injuries that come from sports. These injuries can range from minor sprains and strains to more serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. The potentially long-term costs resulting from sports injuries are substantial and can be a heavy burden for individuals without health benefits.
The following will break down the shocking facts regarding sports injuries in both children and adults, and when sports injury liability comes into play in Canada.
Sports Injuries in Children
Organized sports and recreational activities are a common staple in the lives of children and teens. They’re a method to stay healthy, socialize and have fun. In Canada, over 80% of children and teens between the age of 3 and 17 are involved in some sort of recreational activity, the majority which are apart of an organized league. For teens, 66% of all injuries are sports-related, that’s 3 out of every 5 injury occurred. More than half of all sports injuries in children occur during practice, not an actual game. These injuries are due to lack of proper protection and are preventable.
Sports Injuries in Adults
Recreational sports aren’t just for kids. More and more adults leagues are popping up for the average adult who either wants to improve their fitness, bond with their co-workers, or simply enjoy the outdoors. In Canada, 35% of all injuries are sports-related, the majority of which occur in the Summer months. Among adults ages 20 to 64, sports were related to almost half of all injuries, 47% to be exact.
Each sport has its own risks and rewards. The following sports affect both children as well as adults – causing mild to serious injuries, every year.
- Basketball – More than 170,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries. It’s always best to wear eye protection, mouth guards, and for men- groin protection
- Football – In 2012, more than 460,000 people were treated for football-related injuries, and 10,000 of those injuries caused hospitalization. ALWAYS be sure to wear pads and all safety equipment, make sure to warm up prior to playing, and practice proper tackling techniques.
- Soccer – About 231,000 injuries occur per year due to collisions and contact on the field. ACL injuries are becoming more common in children as well as adults.
- Hockey – More than 20,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms, the majority of injuries being concussions due to aggressive contact and hard falls.
- Baseball and Softball – The most frequent type of injury are sprains which account for over 30% of both baseball and softball injuries. Over 86% of head and facial injuries occur while a player is on defence (field players). When baseball is considered a non-contact sport, half of sliding injuries occur because of two players colliding.
Most Common Sports Injuries:
Achilles tendon injuries
*Head Injuries can have long-term effects*
An impact to the head may result in loss of consciousness, but there may be other symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, irritability, and memory loss. Brain damage caused by concussions may result in strokes, paralysis, headaches or reduced concentration and mental clarity.
When to Seek Legal Action
Sports injury cases are often challenging in a sense because there is something referred to as “assumption of risk”, meaning that when one signs up with an organized sports league (child or adult), they voluntarily and knowingly assume the potential risks inherent to the dangerous activity in which he/she was participating at the time of injury.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit means figuring out who played a part in causing or contributing to yours or your child’s sports injury — be it a person, an organization, or multiple parties. As part of your lawsuit, you’ll need to show exactly how the defendant (the party you are suing) was negligent in connection with yours or your child’s injuries. What exactly did the person or organization do (or fail to do), and how did that misstep play a part in the accident?
When a person is injured due to another person or entity’s negligence, the victim can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The most common situations involving a sport injury that can lead to a lawsuit are the following:
Sometimes sports can get violent when emotions come into play. If another player was to intentionally cause damage (ie. a physical fight, or an illegal play), then they may be able to be sued for any losses that they’ve caused. For example: a tackle after the whistle has been called.
Reckless acts may not be intentional, however they can still be held liable for injuries occurred. For example: a player throws their baseball bat into the field and hits another player.
Coaches can be held accountable for injuries occurring to their players should they fail to recognize a dangerous situation, or improper techniques are taught. For example, a wet playing surface that may cause falls, or teaching wrong tackling techniques.
Should a faulty product or a defective design be the cause of injury to a player, the manufacturer can be held liable for injury claims. For example: the head of a golf club falling off mid-stroke and hitting another golfer on the green.
At Conte & Associates, we are compassionate personal injury lawyers who seek to understand your situation the impact it has had on you and your family. We provide personalized and excellent legal representation. Our compassion allows us to do our very best for our clients.
At both our Whitby and Vaughan personal injury law firm office locations, we work together with the best medical experts in Ontario, including neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, case managers and occupational therapists, to properly and fully assess your condition.