As a sports injury lawyer, I have helped many athletes after their sports-related accidents. From bikers competing in a race getting hit by a car, to athletes injured due to defective safety equipment, such as a helmet or a cup, to high school athletes injured while playing a sport due to negligent coaching.
All of these injured players had legal rights against the at-fault parties. The injured biker competing in a race had a PA car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The athlete who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury due to a defective helmet had a dangerous products or products liability case against the helmet manufacturer, and the high school athlete had a sports injury case against the coach and school for the coach’s negligence.
One of things I noticed is that many of the sports injuries could have been prevented. Prevention is key to avoiding sports accidents and injuries. Knowing the rules of the sports, whether it is football, soccer or baseball, is not enough, players also need to think of avoiding injury as part of the rules.
Athletes can be injured anywhere on their bodies. Below are some of the common types of injuries we see in athletes after PA and NJ sports-related accidents and injuries.
Athletes who play contact sports often sustain head and neck injuries. Football or hockey players are more susceptible to head and neck injuries as opposed to runners or volleyball players. However, there are non-contact sports that may also result in head and neck injuries due to the nature of the sport. For instance, gymnasts are more likely to fall from an apparatus they are on, such as uneven bars, and as a result, sustain head and neck injuries.
Players may sustain concussions, mild traumatic brain injuries or traumatic permanent brain injuries as a result of their accidents. For contact sports, the key to preventing head injuries is to wear proper safety equipment, such as helmets. They should fit properly in order to protect the players’ heads.
If athletes are hit or fall resulting in concussions, coaches and trainers need to have the athletes medically evaluated. They should not be allowed to go back into the game until they are medically cleared. When a football player is allowed to return to a game after sustaining a concussion, he is likely to suffer from a permanent traumatic brain injury if he is hit again. Thus, coaches and trainers need to know the signs of concussions in order to protect their players.
Another common sports injury is a back injury. This is especially true in sports like football, hockey, and gymnastics. The athletes’ back injuries are often caused by twists or overexertion during bending or lifting movements. They also occur when players collide with each other, as in football and hockey.
Back injuries can be avoided if the athletes are properly trained on the techniques necessary to play the sport, such as tackling in football. On the flip side, players should not be training too much as overexertion can also cause back injuries, among other injuries. Again, it is crucial for coaches and trainers to know the game and how to properly coach their players on how to play the game.
Though getting injured is an inherent risk in all sports, injured players do have legal rights if their accidents and injuries could have been avoided and were caused by someone’s negligence. The fact that injuries are possible does not mean that the players do not have any legal rights after sports accidents. Responsible parties may include:
To see when players have the right to sue responsible parties, see PA & NJ Sports Injuries – When Can Players Sue For Their Sports-Related Injuries?
If PA and NJ injured players and athletes are successful in their sport injury lawsuits, they may financially recover for their damages, which include:
*Posted on 6/9/15