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Who is Responsible for When an Athlete Gets Injured?

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A high school football player from South Florida is still in the hospital after suffering from a brain injury during a game on a recent Friday night. The Spanish River team was playing in a preseason game when a wide receiver and defensive back collided with another player at West Boca Raton in the fourth quarter.

The clash was violent, but the player was responsive on the field. When he was moved to the sidelines he began to struggle and was taken via ambulance to Delray Medical Center. He is being treated in the intensive care unit.

Who Is Liable for Sports Injuries? 

When a high school player or other child is injured while playing in a high school or youth sports program, it can be tough to determine liability. Every year some 30 million teens and children participate in youth sports programs through school and other civic organizations. Although many kids make it through the season injury free, some of the players end up in emergency rooms with serious, sometimes life-altering, injuries. But are parents able to hold the coaches, team, organization, other athletes, or facility managers accountable for those injuries? In some situations, yes.

Can I Sue for My Child’s Injuries? 

Pursuing damages for a sports injury can be tough. Often times, the legal responsibility for any injuries will fall not on the school, sports organization, or coaches, but on the parents. The reason for this is that many injuries are considered part of the normal, unavoidable, and foreseeable part of participating in athletics.

By choosing to allow your child or teen to participate in the sport, you are agreeing to assume the normal risks involved with the sport. The only time the ability to successfully have a claim in the case of a sports injury arises is when the athlete or their parents can prove that the injury was the result of reckless, intentional, or negligent conduct of another athlete, facility owner, or coach.

Parents may also be able to file a claim if the school or other sports facility had a defect in the facility that resulted in the accident that caused your child’s injuries. This law applies whether the injury occurred during a practice or a game. Some 62 percent of sports injuries occur during practice when parents and kids are less likely to take the same safety precautions that they would during a game.

Startling Statistics 

The legal ramifications are important to consider if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit to pursue damages for your child’s injuries. Some two million injuries in high school athletes occur annually. This results in 30,000 hospitalizations and 500,000 doctor visits. Nearly four million kids under age 14 are treated for sports injuries each year, and 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries are due to sports.

Consult with an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney 

If your teen or child has been injured while playing an organized sport either through school or another organization, first, seek medical treatment immediately. Next, contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to determine what your legal options may be. The attorneys at Leifer Law Firm have decades of experience consulting with their clients and determining what course of action would be best for their situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Resources:

cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5538a1.htm

usatodayhss.com/2018/florida-football-player-hospitalized-with-brain-injury-from-friday-action

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