No doubt, the risk of injury is inherent in many teen sports. However, just because the risk is inherent, it does not mean that every sports injury is just part of the sport. Many injuries could have and should have been avoided, and someone may be responsible for the injuries. In such cases, injured teen players have legal rights against responsible parties.
Sports injuries can be classified into two groups:
1. Acute traumatic injuries - these injuries often happen after a collision, blow or force, such as getting tackled on the football field, players running into each other on the soccer field, etc.
2. Overuse injuries - these injuries are also known as chronic injuries because they occur over time. Repetitive training often causes overuse injuries. For instance, runners running every day, pitchers throwing every day, or tennis players perfecting their serves every day. These injuries are often not that serious at first; however, if they are not treated, they typically get worse.
Some of the common reasons teen athletes are injured playing sports include the following:
Below are examples of how some of these above situations may happen.
A freshman football player makes the team at his high school. He is a good player, but never learned how to tackle properly. He often leads with his head to tackle another player. The coach never teaches him how to properly tackle, i.e., not to lead with his head to avoid head injuries, and the player sustains a traumatic brain injury during a game because he did not properly tackle another player.
After lacrosse practice, some players decide to stay on the field to run some plays. Helmets are a must when playing lacrosse. The coach sees the players on the field after practice, but does not tell the players to put helmets on. During one of the plays, 2 players collide into each other causing one to fall to the ground and hit his head. As a result, the player has a mild traumatic brain injury.
In these examples, injuries could have been avoided. In the first situation, the coach needed to teach the freshman how to tackle. The fact that he failed to do so caused the player to suffer a brain injury. In the second situation, the coach was negligent in that he did not tell the players to put on helmets even though practice was over. He saw the players on the field and needed to tell them to put on safety equipment in order to avoid injury.
Injured players have legal rights when their accidents and injuries are caused by someone’s negligence. For more information, visit our PA and NJ sports injury library.
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