Studies show that sport-related injuries happen to nearly 2 million high school athletes and more than 3.4 million children each year. While many parents and children are aware that playing sports poses risk for a potential injury, there is still a legal obligation for sports organizations, schools and coaches to uphold their responsibilities to keep athletes safe.
If your child has suffered serious injuries while playing a sport, you can turn to your insurance provider for help. However, if the injury or illness was caused by activities not inherent to the sport, you may be able to seek compensation from an at-fault party.
According with Texas law, you may be eligible for compensation if you can demonstrate that the following conditions were true in your case:
- The defendant had a duty to the plaintiff
- The defendant failed to accomplish this duty
- The injury was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty
- The defendant should have reasonably been aware that his or her action or inaction would be considered a breach of duty
- There must be harm to the plaintiff that can be compensated for
Examples of negligent acts in sports may include if a player has developed a heat-related illness after a coach resumed practice outside in an unreasonably high temperature. Fault may also land on an organization that does not enforce safety requirements, such as telling players to where full protective gear during a skirmish. Overtraining athletes, failing to provide enough breaks and water or failing to explain the purpose of safety equipment could all be considered negligent acts too.
Sports organizations, schools and coaches may also hold responsibility for defective equipment that causes an injury. For athletes who do not purchase the equipment they rely on, such as gymnasts, responsible parties should perform safety checks regularly to ensure the athletes are safe.
Many sports leagues require athletes to sign a waiver before playing the sport. These waivers are used to gain the parent and child’s consent to the risks inherent in the sport. These risks include injuries that are likely to be caused because of the nature of the sport, such as injuries resulting from a foul ball in baseball or a false start in football.
Despite having signed a waiver, families may still have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit if a responsible party has acted negligently. Contact a Texas personal injury attorney if your child has been injured while playing a sport to learn more about whether you may be able to receive financial support to care for his or her suffering.