Understanding Sports Injuries and Liability
A sports injury can be detrimental to anyone, from the professional athletes who get paid to play their favourite sports to the regular day person who takes part in recreational team sports like hockey, basketball, soccer, rugby, and lacrosse, and individual sports like tennis, skiing, and snowboarding. When you are injured during a sports activity, a lot of questions can arise along with some unexpected medical bills. It’s important to understand how to handle your sports injury and assess where and if there is any liability on another person for your injury.
After an Injury, Ask Yourself These Three Questions
Question #1: Was the injury caused due to a deficiency in the facility you were playing in? If yes there could there be Occupiers’ Liability.
Question #2: Was the injury caused by another player’s excessive use of force beyond that of what is generally expected in the sport you are playing? If yes there could be intentional harm done to you.
Question #3: Was the injury caused by another participant’s reckless or careless behaviour? If yes there could be negligence liability.
If you answered no to all of the above questions, you might be victim of a genuine accident and all you can do is focus on recovery. If you answered yes to any of the above questions you may have a legal claim and could possibly seek compensation for your injuries.
Sports Injuries and Voluntary Risk
The difficulty with sports injuries is that there is a certain level of voluntary assumed risk assumed by all participants. Although the expectations vary with each sport, a contact sport for example will tolerate more aggressiveness than a non-contact sport. If you voluntarily submit yourself to play a contact sport, you are assuming the risk of concussion, broken bones, torn ligaments etc. as long as they are obtained in fair play. Any excessive foul play should be noted immediately when an injury is caused so as to properly assess liability.
Most recreational sports teams will require you to sign a waiver prior to playing. It is important to read the waiver because it will outline all of the areas where you will not be covered in the event of an injury. Keep a copy of the waiver on record in case you need to refer to it down the line.
A sports injury is difficult to assess liability as oftentimes it’s not intention that caused the injury but merely a consequence of the game itself. If you feel you have a claim it is important to seek legal advice and be fairly compensated.
Zuber Brioux provides legal representation for clients in Ottawa, Kingston, and Eastern Ontario injured in sports accidents and other areas of practice related to personal injury. Contact Zuber Brioux for a free initial consultation.