Whether you are an enthusiastic amateur player or a highly-paid professional, a sports injury can have serious consequences, including loss of earnings or an enforced change of career. In the worst cases, life-changing injuries that require significant levels of ongoing care have happened on the sports field.
If you have suffered a sports injury due to someone else’s reckless behaviour or negligence of another sort, Liddy’s Solicitors can help you to claim the compensation to which you are entitled.
As one of the leading personal injury specialists in Yorkshire, we can offer the legal expertise you need to make a successful claim. We can also help you to find the best possible treatment for your injuries, thanks to our close working relationships with rehabilitation specialists, chiropractors, occupational therapists and neurological physiotherapists.
When is a sports injury the result of negligence?
When you play sport, you are considered to have consented to the natural level of risk involved in the game. As such, you cannot claim damages for cuts, bruises, sprains and broken bones that you suffer in legal tackles, misjudged challenges or due to the expected level of physicality of the game. However, if your injury is caused by something that is not a normal part of the sport, you may be entitled to compensation.
In some cases the difference between the two scenarios is clear. For example, a footballer or rugby player injured in a fair challenge would have no grounds on which to claim, but if your injury was the result of deliberate foul play or a reckless tackle clearly outside the laws of the game, you are likely to have a strong case.
The behaviour of an opponent may be the most obvious example of negligence leading to a sports injury, but it is far from the only one.
If a referee or umpire fails to make a reasonable effort to prevent any unnecessary risk, they may be considered to blame. This issue is particularly relevant to rugby union, where failure to implement the scrum laws correctly can lead to a collapse that results in a player suffering a life-changing spinal injury.
Unsafe or poorly maintained facilities or equipment, and dangerous defects on pitches and courts may also be considered as evidence of negligence. If you are injured due to, for example, a trip hazard at the edge of a football pitch, a slippery surface on a squash court or a badly maintained item of gym equipment, you may be able to claim compensation.
The same is true if you are hurt because of incorrect instruction given by a professional instructor or coach, or because you did not receive adequate training or supervision. This may apply to PE classes at school, as well as to gym classes, personal training sessions and training for team sports.
One other issue which can result in sports injuries leading to compensation claims is substandard medical treatment, such as misdiagnosis, surgical error or poor care. If you are unfortunate enough to have suffered due to mistakes in your treatment, Liddy’s Solicitors has a specialist clinical negligence team who can help you to claim the compensation to which you are entitled.
Can I claim compensation for my sports injury?
Whether or not you can make a successful sports injury compensation claim will depend on the circumstances that resulted in you being hurt. You will need to prove that the incident was not just part and parcel of the sport, and that someone else was to blame for your injury.
At Liddy’s Solicitors, our personal injury specialists have significant experience of gathering the evidence accident victims need to prove negligence and ensure that their compensation claims are successful. In the case of sports injuries, there are some important steps you can take to assist with this.
The first is to get treatment for your injuries as soon as possible after the incident. Not only will this give you the best chance of making a full recovery, it will also ensure that there is an official record of your injury and how it occurred.
You should also make a list of people who saw the incident in which you were injured, as eye witness evidence may be crucial to the success of your claim. If the game was being filmed, even just on someone’s smartphone, the footage may be particularly useful.
One of our solicitors will help to gather witness evidence on your behalf, as well as any other relevant documentation, such as referee’s reports, maintenance schedules and information about previous similar incidents. Where necessary, expert witness testimony may also be sought to help prove blame.
In addition to damages for the injury itself, you will be entitled to compensation for any medical and travel expenses incurred and for loss of earnings if your claim is successful. Our solicitor will help you to compile the documentation needed to support this part of the claim. Loss of earnings can amount to a substantial sum if your sports injury means you have to take several months off work, or if the damage is permanent and means you have to change careers, so this is an important element of the claim.
Remember, the law applies to both amateur and professional sports people, and across all sports. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should be entitled to compensation.
How to make a sports injury compensation claim
Your first step towards making a successful sports injury compensation claim is to consult a reputable solicitor. They will assess whether your injury was just unfortunate or the result of negligence, and advise you of the best way to proceed.
Liddy’s is one of the leading personal injury firms in Yorkshire and will demonstrate both expertise and sensitivity when dealing with your claim. One of our solicitors will guide you through the process from initial meeting to the negotiation of a settlement, keeping you informed of progress at every stage.
For a discussion about the possibility of making a sports injury compensation claim, please fill in the ‘How Can We Help You?’ form, call us at our Wakefield office on 01924 780753 or contact our Barnsley office on 01226 731314.