Can I Sue For A Youth Sports Injury?
If your children play sports, you know that it can be a costly endeavor. Between team fees, uniforms, equipment, snacks, and traveling to games and meets, sports can cost thousands of dollars just for your child to participate in. It can be devastating to spend all that money to help your child only for them to be terribly injured. The good news is, if your child was injured in the sports context due to another person’s negligence, you may have legal avenues available for you to recover.
When to Bring a Lawsuit for a Sports Injury
The main factor in determining whether you have grounds to sue for a sports injury is whether the cause of the injury is an inherent risk associated with the sport. This is because when you sign your children up for sports you usually have to sign a waiver of liability. In essence, when you waive liability you assume the risk. However, these liability waivers are not get-out-of-jail-free cards for the sports leagues. Rather, they only assign the risks inherent to the sport. This means that if your child sustains an injury that represents an inherent risk to the sport, such as getting a concussion in football, or breaking their ankle while playing soccer, then these injuries would fall under the category of risk that you assumed by playing the game and signing the waiver. However, if the injury was caused by something outside the scope of inherent risks, then you do have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit. One of the grounds for a lawsuit is negligent coaching. While it may not be negligent for a coach to fail to prevent a broken ankle in the course of a normal game, it likely would be negligent coaching for a coach to ignore a serious head injury and send a delirious player back out onto the field only to sustain another concussion. Another basis for bringing a lawsuit is intentionally harmful conduct. If another player intentionally kicks or harms your child, you can sue them personally for any damages that occur as a result.
Sports Injury Damages
In order to have a successful sports injury claim, you must also be able to show damages. As awful as it would be for your child to be kicked by another player (even intentionally), if no financial damages occur as a result, then you would not have grounds to bring a lawsuit. You must be able to financially demonstrate the negative impact that the injury has caused you. Medical bills are generally the primary source of financial damages. If an injury does not require medical attention, it will not provide grounds for a lawsuit.
Talk to a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
If your child has suffered a sports injury due to another party’s negligence, you do not have to fight this battle alone. Schedule a free initial consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.