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White and Williams LLP

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PA & NJ Sports Injuries - Importance Of Checking Protective Equipment

Many contact sports require players or athletes to wear protective equipment.  Football players are required to wear helmets and padding, and baseball players are required to wear helmets when batting.  Therefore it is important that safety equipment is in good condition.  This is especially important for helmets, which protect players' heads from impact and prevent players from sustaining a head injury.

High schools and colleges may provide safety equipment for their athletes.  For example, a high school may provide its football players with helmets.  Therefore, at the beginning of the sports season, coaches, schools or sports organizations need to inspect all safety equipment, including helmets before they are given out to the players.  Old, beat up helmets should be discarded, and new helmets should be ordered.  After giving safety equipment to the players, coaches should check that the equipment fits properly.  For example, a helmet needs to fit a player's head properly.  If a helmet does not fit properly, a player is likely to sustain a serious head injury if hit in the head.

In addition, checking the equipment should not happen only at the beginning of the season, coaches should regularly check the condition of the equipment throughout the season to make sure that they are in good condition.

If a player sustains a traumatic brain injury due to an unsafe helmet provided by the team, the coach and the school may be responsible for the player's injuries.  In order to win a sports injury lawsuit against the coach and school, the injured athlete would need to prove that the coach/school was negligent, and the coach/school's negligence caused the sports accident and the player's traumatic brain injury.

Consider the following:  a high school football team provides its players with helmets, and the coach is supposed to make sure that the helmets fit the players properly.  However, the coach neglects to check whether a helmet fits properly for a specific player.  The helmet given to this specific player does not fit properly.  It is too big, and it moves around on his head.  During practice, the player is hit hard by another teammate, and his helmet falls off because it's too big.  When he falls to the ground, his head hits the ground.  As a result, the football player sustains a concussion and a mild traumatic brain injury.

In this case, the coach is negligent because he did not check whether the helmet fit the player properly.  If he had checked it, he would have known that he needed another helmet.  If the player got a helmet that fitted properly, his helmet would not have come off after the impact.  Therefore, he would not have hit his head on the ground and sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.

FREE Consultations From A Sports Injury Lawyer Who Is Also A Life-Long Athlete

Mr. O’Brien is a life-long athlete and has helped many athletes who were injured and hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence while playing.  Call 877.944.8396 to schedule a FREE consultation


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  • Phone: (215) 864-7168
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