By its very nature, participating in any kind of sporting activity makes for an injury-prone pastime. Every player knows that most sports carry a certain level of risk.
Injuries are inevitable and often occur during the course of the game due to nobody’s fault in particular. These injuries are usually seen as ‘part of the game’ and players are considered to have consented to this normal level of risk.
While there is an inherent understanding that there is a risk involved in sports, if an injury occurs that is not part of normal play and is not the fault of the injured person, it may be possible to file for sports injury compensation.
When Is An Injury Considered A Sports Injury?
If you pull a hamstring while playing football or you hurt your shoulder while playing squash, you cannot claim compensation for sports injury. These injuries are very common and are seen as occupational hazards of playing that particular sport.
However, if you suffer an injury because of poor or defective equipment or because you tripped over a badly maintained playing surface, or if your trainer pushes you beyond your capability, there may be a case to make a sports injury claim.
Every sports injury claim will usually be unique depending on the situational and individual circumstances under which it occurred. Some examples of when it is a sports injury as opposed to a regular part-of-the-game injury would include:
- Irresponsible or reckless by players
- Badly maintained equipment or facilities
- Inadequate supervision or training where it would usually be required
- A dangerous fault present on a court, pitch or other sporting facility
- Failure of a referee or game officials to make all reasonable efforts to prevent any avoidable risks
- Incorrect instructions given by an instructor or trainer
Injuries caused by these types of accidents would not be considered part of normal, reasonable risk that any player would consent to and are sufficient grounds to file a sports injury compensation claim.
These injuries could occur during any of these occasions:
- Team sports
- Motor sports
- Exercise class
- Physical education at school
- Fitness club or gym
- Athletics such as hurdles, pole vault
- Physical training in the military
- Winter sports such as skating or skiing
- Water sports such as jetskiing or kitesurfing
- Outdoor pursuits such as horse riding or rappelling
Since injuries are commonplace, today most sporting venues, gyms, clubs and schools generally have liability insurance in place to cover such eventualities.
Who Can Claim for a Sport Injury?
Any individual who suffers an injury whilst taking part in a sporting activity is entitled to claim compensation when they are injured. This is irrespective of whether they are participating on a professional, amateur or recreational level. The only stipulation is that the contact has to be reckless or dangerous beyond the normal range that is expected in that specific sport.
Any person attending a sporting event as a spectator is also entitled to claim compensation if they are injured during the event. The premise behind this is that spectators should be able to watch the game as safely as possible.
Where spectators are allowed, the organisation holding the event is responsible for ensuring that the premises are well-maintained, sturdy, and in line with health and safety standards. In addition to appropriate lighting and warning signs located in appropriate place, the organisers are also responsible for doing appropriate risk evaluations and putting in place proper crowd control measures.
If these basic spectator safety measures are not followed and someone sustains an injury as a result, it is likely that they will be in a position to claim compensation.
Claiming Damages for Sports Injury
Sports injuries can be serious and may result in loss of earnings, medical expenses and other financial losses in addition to the pain of the injury. If you believe you are entitled to a claim, it is important to seek the advice of a lawyer who is experienced in sport injury cases.
If you sustain an injury whilst participating in any sporting activity, the first thing you need to do is to get medical attention. Not only does this help assess the nature of your injury so that you can receive appropriate medical treatment but it also creates evidence of when and how you sustained your injury should you decide to go ahead and claim.
It is always important to collect as much information as possible, including photographs and details of any witnesses. You should also keep receipts for any medical and other expenses related to the sports injury so that you may be awarded maximum compensation that is allowed.