The biggest fear of every parent of an athlete is their child getting hurt. Win or lose, a child walks off the field to play another day, but that’s not always the case after a child is injured. In some cases, the injury is the result of the game itself and could not have been prevented. In others, though, liability can be placed with a school or business owner who bears responsibility for the event.
Many factors determine whether or not a sports-related injury can result in a valid case. One is the concept of inherent risk. Inherent risk applies to any activity with potential danger — a human target for a knife thrower has to consider the thrower may miss — and is relevant to many sports injuries. Injuries are a part of sports, so it’s very difficult to argue that a football player’s torn ACL is anyone’s fault. However, inherent risk doesn’t absolve schools and private sports facilities of all culpability for all injuries.
One scenario where a facility may be held liable involves injuries occurring outside of the field of play. These cases fall under the purview of premises liability law. The fact that these injuries happened at a place where sports take place is incidental because an athletic facility has the same duty to provide a safe environment as a grocery store or restaurant. Equipment that could injure untrained spectators needs to be secured, and the premises cannot be kept in a condition hazardous to patrons and visitors.
When coaches and recreation facility employees are negligent in their care, you also have grounds to bring suit. Long gone are the days when a coach could be considered “tough” or “no-nonsense” for withholding water and pushing players past the brink of exhaustion. People who run ropes courses and the like need to be trained in and adhere to safety standards. Breaching these standards of conduct increases the likelihood a child will be injured.
If your child has been injured while playing sports or at a sports facility, we’d love to explore the details surrounding the injury and determine whether you have grounds for a case. Call us at 334-314-1814 for a free consultation.