In the United States, 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and every year there are roughly 3.5 million sport-related injuries. Many of these injuries result in long-term recovery, ongoing medical treatment, and even death. While many sports injuries are simple accidents, sometimes these injuries are the result of negligence. For example, if players are not provided with adequate safety equipment or supervision, the responsible party may be held accountable for injuries that occur.
The experienced sports injury lawyers of Munley Law have represented many victims who have suffered sports injuries. We have learned through years of experience that sports-related injuries and deaths are often caused by the negligent and careless actions of sport leagues, schools, coaches, and even other athletes. We offer free consultations to all sport injury victims and we do not recover a fee unless we win for you. Our firm will invest in the experts and investigators necessary to build a strong case that will help you recover any compensation to which you’re rightfully entitled.
Our sports injury lawyer Robert W. Munley III weighs in on sports-related concussions in young athletes. We know that sports injuries are not only frightening, they can also come with expensive medical bills. What’s more, they can have a lasting impact on your child’s future.
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What Are Youth Sports Injuries?
Youth sports injuries are injuries experienced by participants in youth sports teams and leagues. These types of injuries can have a unique nature due to the age and experience of the persons involved in youth sports. These usually involve children and teenagers under the age of 18, and may be connected with public school teams or city-sponsored organizations. Team sports such as soccer, football, and hockey can often present more risk for injury due to the interaction with other players. However, individual sports can also present some risks as well.
Some common types of youth sports injuries can include:
- Muscle strains and sprained joints, including knee and ankle injuries
- Abrasions and cut wounds
- Broken bones
- Head trauma or concussion
- Spinal injuries and paralysis
All kinds of youth sports can result in different types of injury. Some of the most common ones include: football, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, and hockey.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are some of the most common types of sports-related injuries, and can occur in almost any sport. They are also some of the most dangerous, because closed head injuries are not always immediately recognized. Contrary to popular belief, a person can sustain a concussion or traumatic brain injury without losing consciousness. If an athlete continues to play and/or does not seek immediate treatment for a head injury, they may suffer serious or even permanent damage. While fatal sports-related injuries are rare, they are most likely to result from head trauma.
Sports Injury Lawsuit Damages
Lawsuits for sports injuries generally involve an award for monetary damages to compensate the injured player for any injury-related medical costs. In incidences of youth sports injury, the child’s physical and future development can be a factor when calculating the damages. If the sport-related injury affects your child’s ability to achieve academically, to receive athletic scholarships, or to support themselves in the future, these long-term losses will be considered.
When Can Athletes Sue for a Sports Injury?
Assumption of Risk
One of the biggest barriers to recovering a damages award in a youth sports injury lawsuit is the notion of consent or the “assumption of risk.” In order to participate in most school, city, or county youth sports team, the child’s parent is usually required to sign a consent form or waiver, stating that the parent and child understand the various risks associated with that particular sport. However, just because you signed a waiver does not mean you have no case. An experienced, highly skilled lawyer can analyze your situation to determine whether the waiver will prevent you from taking action.
The league or school may be held liable for gross negligence, such as allowing sports violence or conduct that is outside the scope of the rules of the game. For example, if the school consistently allows excessive force to be used during football, they may become liable for injuries resulting from the non-standard conduct of the players or coaches. This may be true in practice as well as during actual game time.
In addition, it is possible for sport coaches or instructors to be held liable for some sports injuries. Some forms of inappropriate coaching and instructional methods may include:
- Encouraging conduct or behavior that is outside the rules of the sport (such as playing dirty or using too much force for a particular type of sport)
- Failing to remove an injured player from a game
- Physically assaulting a player
- Pushing the child beyond reasonable limits during training and practice (ie. heat exhaustion)
- Use of faulty equipment
- Failing to administer necessary medical care
If your child becomes injured because of a coach’s negligence or another player’s recklessness, you may be able to take legal action.
How to Prevent Sports Injuries
While accidents do happen, many sports injuries are preventable. Some ways to protect players and athletes from injury include:
- Use of proper protective equipment such as helmets
- Maintenance of equipment and facilities
- Proper supervision and safety training
- Availability of medical personnel
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Sports Injury Lawsuit?
If your child suffered a serious sports-related injury due to negligence, a lawsuit may be the best way to get the compensation you need to move forward and hold the at-fault parties responsible. In order to receive full, fair compensation, you will need an experienced lawyer to represent you during the legal process. Allow a sports injury lawyer to fight for your family while you focus on recovering and returning to normal life. If you are unsure whether you have a case, start with a free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer at Munley Law. We will answer your questions and inform you of your rights and legal options. And, we do not charge a fee for our services unless we win compensation for you.
Contact a Sports Injury Lawyer at Munley Law for a Free Case Review
If your child has suffered due to a sports injury or accident, we can help. Contact a sports injury lawyer at Munley Law today. Use the contact form or call (570) 338-4494 to schedule a free consultation.