It’s no secret that football is a violent sport. The competitors take the field in what looks more like a suit of armor than a sports uniform yet accidents happen in football stadiums all the time. Injuries happen in almost every single football game that is played at any level. Injuries are a part of the game. But, some injuries are more that just the typical result of an athletic competition or practice some football injuries are the result of human error and 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
There are several different causes of football injuries some of the most common are:
- Poorly designed or maintained facilities or fields
- Defective safety equipment
- 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 normal result of a football game, there probably is not any type of legal claim to compensation. But, when a player, especially one under the age of 18, is hurt at practice or during a game because of an error in judgment by a coach or another adult, there may be reasons to bring 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
Because football is such a physical sport, injuries can happen to most any part of the body. Typical football injuries that were caused by negligence include:
- Traumatic head injury
- 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
Every athlete knows that proper medical care is essential to staying in playing shape. But, many athletes are reluctant to ask for help or to get proper treatment for injuries because of fear of letting the team down or of losing playing time.
But, we each only have one body and we need to take care of it. Even if you do not need emergency treatment, you should go and see your doctor if you have a football injury.
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, you 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.