Sports Injury Claims
2/3 November was quite the weekend for sporting injuries with Kyle Sinckler being knocked unconscious in the 3rd minute of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup defeat by South Africa and Everton midfielder Andre Gomes suffering a horrific, career threating, broken leg in Sunday’s match following a tackle by Tottenham’s Son Heung Min.
There is an element of risk involved in all sports. By participating in a sporting game, whether recreational or professional, players accept a certain risk of injury. It is a well-known defence to any sports-related personal injury claims that, by taking part, players consent a certain level or injury. However, where does consent end and liability to compensate begin?
Liability may arise is circumstances involving illegal tackles, poorly maintained grounds or pitches, violent behaviour, defective or faulty equipment and even reckless advice from a coach. However, you cannot claim for a pulled muscle for example, or similar injuries, which are seen as an occupational hazard when partaking in sport.
If you are injured due to violent behaviour or assault there may be a criminal prosecution and you may choose to seek recourse through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Any compensation received through a Criminal Injuries Compensation award would be offset against any damages awarded in a personal injury claim brought for the same assault.
Liability for negligence from an action which is something that a player would not have expected to encounter in the normal course of play. For example, in the case of an illegal tackle, a claim could be brought if it could be established that the tackle was so reckless it went beyond the accepted risk and the person carrying out the tackle ought reasonably to have known it carried a risk of causing serious injury.
If the field was uneven and poorly maintained, a player could not have consented to an injury caused by falling on uneven ground due to the organiser’s failure to properly maintain the pitch. Organisers, referees and coaches have a duty to provide a safe environment for players and should ensure that all those participating know the rules and that pitches and equipment are maintained.
Sporting injuries can be very serious and have long term physical and financial consequences for a player. Therefore it is imperative that there is recourse for those who have suffered and most clubs have public liability insurance to cover them when these accidents happen.
The Courts will consider sports injury claims on a case by case basis as these types of claims are very detail specific and can be dependant upon a number of different factors.
If you have sustained a sports related injury it is important that you first seek medical attention. If you think the accident has happed as the result of negligence contact a lawyer specialising in sports injuries.