After three years of maintaining this blog and drafting hundreds of blog posts, I sometimes wonder what questions I can answer, or what information is left to be shared with my readers. Today I was thinking about some of the less common personal injury claims and I was reminded of a few cases of mine stemming from sporting events. If you (or your child) was injured either playing a sport, or while attending a sporting event, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.
Were you or your child injured while playing a sport?
More than three million under the age of 14 are treated for sports related injuries each year. The vast majority of those are not candidates for a personal injury claim. We all understand that injuries occur in sports, particularly contact sports such as football, hockey or rugby. I know - I played rugby for ten years! Because we are aware of the danger, we accept the risk simply by playing. Similarly, parents sign waivers so that their children can play organized sports. Personal injury claims do not exist in such "normal" or "expected" types of sports injury.
Negligence can occur, however, that causes injury and which is not part of the "accepted risk" of playing a sport. The most common causes of preventable sports injuries are:
- Inadequate or defective equipment;
- Inadequate or defective playing surfaces or fields;
- Abusive coaches or trainers;
- Training or practice that is excessive for a child's age and experience.
Were you or your child injured AT a sporting event?
Much like playing sports, we accept a certain amount of risk everytime that we go to a game. We understand that foul balls will enter the stands and may injure spectators. Public address announcers warn several times that hockey pucks, baseballs or other objects might fly into the stand. They even agree to refund your ticket if you are unwilling to accept such risk.
Again, like playing sports, there are some injuries that spectators sustain that was not foreseeable or preventable. These types of injuries may be compensable under a personal injury claim. Some examples of injuries at sporting events that might be covered:
- Assault by another intoxicated spectator (maybe a rival fan). Much like restaurants and bars have an obligation to not over serve customers, so too do sporting venues;
- The protections meant to prohibit injury the stands are inadequate or defective;
- Slip and fall at the venue.