Personal Injury -- Plaintiff Law
Sports are a great way to get exercise, stay active, and get together with others. However, playing sports does come with some risks, and injuries can happen. When injuries happen due to someone’s carelessness, it may be possible to hold them responsible for your medical expenses.
Personal injury and negligence claims vary by state. If you suffered sports-related injuries, talk to a personal injury lawyer in your area with experience in sports injuries to learn about your options and how to take legal action.
Sports injuries are very common. Most athletic injuries are minor, but serious accidents can cause permanent damage, paralysis, brain damage, or death. Some of the most common types of sports injuries involve:
- Joint and tendon strains or tears in the ankle, elbow, wrist, knee, or shoulder
- Ligament damage, such as an ACL tear
- Concussions or other traumatic head injuries
- Back and neck injuries
The risk of injury can be more common in contact sports or high-impact sports, including, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and football games.
Sports-related injuries are more common for children, teens, and young adults because they are generally more active and more likely to participate in recreational and school sports. However, adults can also suffer injuries playing softball, basketball, cycling, or other sports.
When a sports injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Someone is negligent if they do something unreasonable that causes you to suffer harm. Their duty of care to you is to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances.
For example, during a high schoolfootball game, another player tackles someone at the knee after the play is over, causing a serious injury. If a reasonable high schoolfootball player would not target the knees of someone after the play is over, they could be considered negligent in causing the knee injury. In this situation, you may be able to take legal action to recover compensation for your child’s injuries. When it comes to school sports, you may end up taking action against the school district instead of the child. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your options.
Pickup games are much more casual than organized leagues. They may not have a strict set of rules, but players generally have a similar idea of the rules of the game. If another player does something dangerous or unreasonable and it causes you or your child harm, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
You can sue for a sports injury caused by defective sports equipment. In a product liability claim, you can sue for damages if a defective product caused your injuries. Defective product claims usually involve design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to warn of a product’s dangers. These kinds of lawsuit claims typically involve suing the product manufacturer, distributor, or seller. Defective sports equipment can include:
- Gym equipment
- Playground equipment
Not all sports injuries are caused by negligence. Some injuries are just part of playing the game. For example, if you are playing soccer as the goalie and get hit by a ball kicked toward the goal, that’s a risk of playing soccer and not due to negligence.
Other sports injuries can happen due to repetitive movements over time. A tennis player who has knee injuries after playing tennis for years may not have a strong case for a lawsuit because their knee injuries are not caused by negligence. If you are not sure if you have a claim for a sports injury, talk to a personal injury attorney for legal advice.
To win a sports injury case, you have to prove all the elements of the claim. The elements of a negligence claim include:
- Duty of care and a breach of that duty
- That breach was the cause of your injury
- You suffered harm and financial damages
In a sports injury lawsuit, you can sue for money damages. Compensatory damages are supposed to compensate you for your losses. In a personal injury lawsuit, the damages can include:
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
In some cases, you may be able to get punitive damages to punish the person who caused the injury. However, these damages are usually limited to very appalling accidents or intentional injuries.
If you want to know about how to win a sports injury lawsuit and how much you can get in damages, talk to a personal injury lawyer after an accident. Sports injury attorneys are familiar with personal injury and product liability laws and can guide you through the process of filing a claim to recover compensation to pay for your health care.
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