When Can I Sue For My Child’s Sport Injury?
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on December 7, 2021
Injuries are very common in youth sports. In fact, more than 3.5 million children are injured while participating in sports or recreational activities each year!
However, under most circumstances, it’s difficult to sue for a sports-related injury. Why? In many cases, the parents sign a release on behalf of their minor child, which may or may not be valid depending on how the release is written.
It’s difficult to win a case unless you can prove there was some sort of intentional violence, negligence, defective product, or unlawful activity that caused the injury.
What School Sports Have The Most Injuries?
Joining a sports team can be an exciting experience for both kids and parents alike, but it’s important to know the risks associated with each sport. These are some of the dangerous sports in the United States.
• Basketball – Basketball reports the highest rate of team sports injuries in the United States. From 1997 to 2007, over 4 million kids visited the ER for basketball-related injuries. While strains and sprains were the most common type of basketball injuries, traumatic brain injuries were reported to increase by over 70% in this time period as well.
• Football – Football is the second most dangerous youth sport. Fractures, sprains, strains, contusions, and concussions are all very common. In 2009, almost 215,000 children ages 5 to 14 visited the emergency room for football-related injuries!
• Ice Hockey – Concussion is the most common injury sustained by hockey players. Why? This fast-paced and aggressive sport requires extensive technical skill and agility. It’s a very high risk sport, especially for young kids.
• Soccer – Over the past 30 years, the rate of soccer-related injuries has more than doubled as more kids participate in the sport than ever. Most injuries were sprains, fractures, and soft tissue injuries, caused by collisions between players or with the ball.
• Gymnastics – For girls in particular, gymnastics are associated with a very high risk of injury. Almost 100,000 young gymnasts are injured each year. The balance, strength, technical skill, and flexibility required to execute difficult moves can be difficult to maintain, especially for younger athletes.
• Baseball and Softball – In 2009, nearly 110,000 children ages 5-14 went to the ER for baseball-related injuries. What’s more, baseball is annually associated with the highest youth-sports-fatality rate. Between 3 and 4 kids die of baseball injuries each year.
Preventing Sports Related Injuries
While anyone can experience an accidental injury, there are ways to reduce the risk of sports-related injuries. Teaching kids the rules, sportsmanship, and risks involved; getting necessary nutrition and rest; warming up and cooling down; investing in high quality shoes and proper gear; and making sure coaches are maintaining proper training can all help reduce the risk of sports related injuries.
When Can I Sue For A Sports Related Injury?
• Medical Malpractice and Negligence – If medical staff cleared your child to play a sport after an injury, but they reinjure themselves while playing, you may be able to sue. This constitutes negligence on their part for allowing your child to return to play without proper recovery. Negligence could also include the coach failing to remove an injured player from play, forcing them to play, not providing proper equipment, or forcing kids to play in unsafe conditions (too hot, not enough water, not enough food) resulting in more injuries and suffering.
• Intentional Violence or Unlawful Activity – While “fighting” is actually allowed in some forms of hockey, violence beyond the bounds of the sport is usually eligible for legal action. If another player attacks your child, such as kicks or hits them, you probably can sue. If a coach or child knowingly breaks rules that result in an injury, this may count as well.
• Defective Products – If gear such as a football helmet, mouthguard, or any training equipment causes your child an injury and is proven to be defective, you may be entitled to legal compensation.
If your case is successful, you can receive compensation for medical bills, physical/emotional pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Get Legal Help From A Personal Injury Attorney in Louisville, Kentucky
If you or someone you love experiences a sports-related injury in Kentucky, the experienced team at Cooper and Friedman PLLC can help. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of victims in Louisville, Kentucky and across the state. We handle your case personally and you can always be sure that our attorneys will be responsive to your phone calls and inquiries. For more information, or to schedule a free case consultation with a Kentucky injury attorney, give us a call at 502-459-7555 or contact us by email today.