It’s a well-known fact that football is a violent sport. From amateur all the way to professional leagues, injuries take place often. But sometime injuries occur as the result of more than just moments in a game or at practice. Some football injuries are the result of human error or negligence. If you have been hurt because of someone else’s mistake, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries.
Common Causes of Football Injuries
Here are some of the most common causes of football injuries:
- Defective equipment issued to the players.
- Facilities or fields that have been poorly designed or maintained.
- Coaching failures to follow safety protocols at practice or during a game.
- Over training.
- Accidental injury during a game or scrimmage.
When an accident is the result of normal game activity, more than likely there will not be any type of legal claim to compensation or damages. But, when a player (especially a minor) is hurt during practice or in a game because of an error in judgment by a coach or another adult, there may be grounds to file a claim.
If the coaching staff failed to follow league safety procedures or acted in a way that was careless or reckless, and a player was hurt, the school, organization, and coach may be legally liable for damages. When safety equipment like a helmet, does not do the job as claimed, there may a possible legal claim against the equipment manufacturer. When fields and facilities are not kept safe and injuries occur, the venue itself may be subject to legal claims for injuries caused by the poor conditions.
Common Types of Football Injuries
Due to the physicality of football, injuries can take place to any part of the body. Football injuries that tend to be caused by negligence are:
- traumatic head injuries
- sprained or strained muscles
- torn or ripped muscles ligaments, and tendons
- back and neck injuries
- fractured bones
- spinal cord injuries
- mental trauma
- lacerations and contusions
Many athletes understand the importance of proper medical care and recovery time to ensure their physical health. But, often time athletes (especially younger ones) are reluctant to ask for help or seek proper treatment for injuries because of fear of not being able to play, letting down their teammates, or even pressure from their coaches.
Athletes should always go see a physician if they have suffered a football related injury (even if an athlete does not need emergency treatment). One of the riskiest and most difficult injuries to diagnose, especially in youth, is concussions or traumatic brain injuries. If these are not properly treated, a young athlete may have severe neurological defects later in life.
Who is Responsible?
One of the challenges in making a claim for football injuries is in deciding who is responsible for the accident. In most youth sports leagues the coaching staff and the sponsoring organization are responsible for creating a safe environment and for training all the adults and children in proper safety practices.
However, when these protocols are not followed and someone is hurt one of the most common defenses is that the football player and or the player’s family assumed the risk of letting them play a dangerous game. Assumption of the risk is not always an obstacle to collecting compensation for injuries.
When the equipment is shown to be defective often it is the retailer or the manufacturer who is legally responsible for the injuries caused by the equipment. Even professional football players occasionally seek legal help in finding out who is responsible for injuries. Recently NFL player Reggie Bush hired a lawyer to help him pursue a personal injury claim against the owners of a stadium where he was hurt on an allegedly defective sideline.
Special Rules for Claims Involving Minors
When minors are the ones who have suffered football injuries, there are several special rules. They may have longer to bring their injury claims than an adult would. Even though the claim belongs to them, in most states children under age 18 cannot bring their own lawsuits or injury claims, instead an adult must be appointed to handle the case on their behalf. The adult is often a parent, but the facts of every case are different.
Another special rule involves what happens with the money that is recovered for the youth’s injuries. Often, the money must be placed in a special trust so that the youth can have access to it once they turn 18.
If you or your loved one has suffered a football injury because of someone else’s negligence, you have options. We can help you find the right lawyer to handle your case. The sooner you contact us the sooner we can help connect you with a lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you protect your rights.