Professional athletes who entertain us through American football or hockey games are paid well for the abuse they put their bodies through each week. The road to becoming one of these multi-million dollar sports figures begins in youth, starting in recreational leagues and continuing through high school and college. Professional athletes are no strangers to the affects of a sports injury, as they have experienced them since a very young age.
But what about people playing sports in recreational leagues, in school intramural sports or during social games? Are those injuries sacrifices players are expected to make or can those injuries form the foundation of a lawsuit? If you are injured during sports activities, should you call a Layton injury lawyer?
Determining Viability of a Sports Injury Claim
There are multiple considerations in determining whether a lawsuit may be justified in a sports injury. As for other lawsuits, the claim’s viability must be considered. The amount that can be recovered is a factor in this decision, with the potential amount of recovery being contingent upon facts of the case.
There are also presumptions to overcome in determining whether a legal claim is justified. A major presumption when it comes to sports competitions is that participants accept a certain amount of risk by engaging in the sports activity, in the first place. If a player breaks an arm on the football field when being tackled, there is not generally cause for filing a legal claim against anyone involved. That is, unless there was intent by someone to break the arm or extreme negligence was a factor. This is because a certain amount of physical risk is expected as part of sports participation. Each person on the playing field makes the choice to go out there, accepting that risk.
Where things start to change in the legal realm is when organized sports activities are being played. Unlike casual games between acquaintances and friends, an organized activity with administered rules and oversight of the game play may point to some liability of the administering organization when an injury occurs. Not every injury can be related back to the organization’s fault. But the door is opened to some justification for a legal claim when rules are followed and result in a player’s injury.
A good example of a potential legal claim is that of an injury occurring during participation in a flag football league’s game. If league rules permit physical contact like blocking, and someone not following those rules suffers an injury, the league may be held accountable. This is because it is up to the league to create and enforce rules that protect participants from preventable harm. If harm is reasonably foreseeable and yet the league failed to adopt rules to mitigate risk of injury, the league may be liable. This mitigation of risk of injury is what has led to many flag football leagues banning wrestling or other actions that can seriously injure a pass rusher.
When Sports Becomes Entertainment
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and other sports organizations must ensure safety of student athletes, despite their activities being a major entertainment draw for the schools. There are many regulations governing how college sports are played, particularly since these sports allow much more physical contact than less organized social leagues. College teams also have personnel dedicated to taking care of players when they are injured. Players are made aware of the risks before stepping into the locker room and must sign releases of liability before they are allowed to enter the arena or step onto a field.
This is not to say that the NCAA or a university cannot be held liable for personal injury. If a player is injured because the school acts negligently or intentionally causes harm, that player can still take the school to court.
When You Have Been Injured Playing Sports in Utah
There are many considerations toward liability and in regard to one’s acceptance of risk when engaging in sports activities. So the best way to find out if you have a case when injured during sports play in Utah is to contact a personal injury lawyer. This lawyer can help you determine whether taking legal action is appropriate for your specific situation. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can also find out how much liability exists and the best pathway for recovering damages.
You may be hesitant to talk to a lawyer, knowing they must be compensated for their time. But most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. This means that you – as the injured victim – do not have to pay the attorney unless your case is won or settled. Even then, you do not pay out of pocket. Instead, the lawyer’s fee is taken as a percentage of the recovered amount.
If you have been injured while playing sports in Utah, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers of Feller & Wendt, LLC.