Suing is never an easy thing to do. However, when you are hurt and it’s not your fault, you could lose out on missed pay, your medical bills could stack up and you could miss out on future money earned. When this is your situation, a lawsuit is necessary.
In this article, we aim to offer some clarity about how you go about filing a lawsuit if you are injured while playing sports.
What is the Definition of a Sports Injury?
Any kind of injury suffered while participating in a sporting event is referred to as a sports injury. Sports injuries are divided into two types: an injury that you suffer from a traumatic impact and those suffered when an injury comes from the overuse of a specific body part.
This can happen during amateur sports, which is an organized sports league where players have a low to medium degree of skills. These types of sports are generally sponsored or financed by an organization, and there is sometimes pay involved.
Team sports like basketball, football, hockey, baseball or soccer are common examples of amateur sports. Individual sports such as martial arts or boxing may also be included. Amateur sports injuries account for a significant percentage of all sports injuries, as well as sports injury claims.
These Are Sports Injury Examples
The majority of sports injury claims involve serious catastrophic injury rather than overuse of a specific muscle or body part. This is because you cannot hold another person responsible for injuries that are sustained over time as a result of overexertion. If you are hurt due to another player, this may be met with a civil claim. Both amateur and pro sports would fall under the umbrella of sports law.
Examples of sports injuries that are the most common or happen more frequently include: ACL injuries; pulled muscles; fractured bones; shin splints; shoulder injuries; concussions; tennis elbow; sciatica; and knee injuries.
Assumption of Risk
Assumption of risk states that if you willingly engage in a sports activity, you cannot sue others for injuries suffered during the game or while engaging in the sport. Co-participants cannot be held responsible for injuries since the injured player willingly accepted the risk of injury when they agreed to play.
In many personal injury cases, assumption of risk is used as a defense. If the plaintiff has accepted the risk, they will not be able to collect damages due to a defendant’s actions. This also applies to a defendant being irresponsible or careless.
A defendant must demonstrate that the plaintiff had real awareness of the danger in the sports activity to establish the assumption of risk theory. In sports injury-related cases, the defendant must demonstrate that the injured person was aware of the risk of injury connected with the sports activity.
The defendant must further show that the plaintiff willingly accepted the possibility of injury. This can be proven via a signed waiver or any other written agreement. In most cases, it’s also essential to show that the risk was apparent.
Exceptions to Assumption of Risk
Although an athlete may accept the danger of getting injured while playing in a sport, the assumption of risk has certain exceptions. The nature of the sport will determine how these legal ideas are implemented.
Here are a few of the exceptions to the assumption of risk doctrine:
Negligence: A player may be held responsible for damages if their negligence causes another player’s harm. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant violated the plaintiff’s duty of care, and that this violation resulted in the plaintiff’s harm. If a player does not follow the game’s safety regulations, for example, this is an example of this.
Standard for Wanton or Willful Conduct: There is a “contact sports exemption” that says that a defendant is only responsible if their actions were intentional or wanton. This implies that the defendant caused the harm on purpose or intended for their conduct to cause the injury to another player. The amount of force used is typically more than the average force used in a contact sport. A player engaging in a fistfight during a football game is an example of this. A fistfight implies that a player intentionally tried to harm another player.
Faulty Sports Equipment: If the equipment you used was faulty in any way, and those flaws attributed to you hurting yourself during a game, you may have a claim against the property owner or the equipment brand. This generally applies to an injury suffered as a direct consequence of defective equipment.
What Is the Process for Filing a Sports Injury Lawsuit?
It’s important to note that, under the assumption of risk, you can’t sue a defendant for your injuries if you signed a contract promising not to sue. The most typical form is a waiver form. The goal of assumption of the risk is to prevent the defendant from being held liable and to keep an injured party from filing a lawsuit.
Assumption of risk is a contract law defense, so there’s a few things you should think about.
First, the contract cannot cover deliberate actions and cannot be in violation of public policy. This implies that the assumption defense will not apply to a scenario where the owner of a race track deliberately places a tire on the track with the purpose of injuring a driver.
Another issue is if the plaintiff could not comprehend the actual contract. A person who is not mentally sound cannot waive their rights to sue, even if they sign the contract. Another thing to note is that a minor may not be able to relinquish his or her right to sue.
If you want to pursue a lawsuit related to sports injury, you should speak with a personal injury attorney. It may be a complex process that you may not fully understand, which is why an attorney can advise you along the way. In most cases, a lawsuit like this would include trying to argue against the assumption of risk.