SPORT INJURY SOLICITORS - COMPENSATION CLAIM - no win no fee*SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7119
Thousands of sportsmen suffer sports injuries every year by foul play, inadequate instruction, unexpected violence or unsafe playing facilities. Sports facilities, leagues and teams usually have insurance to cover any risk to which anyone paying sport may be exposed. It's a sad fact that a whole new arena of solicitors litigation has come to the forefront in recent years relating to sports injury compensation claims be it by deliberate, reckless or negligent conduct including the disgraceful "professional" foul. Thousands of serious injuries occur every year to sportsmen and sportswomen by foul or negligent play, inadequate instruction or supervision, unexpected violence or unsafe facilities. Careers can be ruined by a sporting injury and thousands of pounds in wages may be lost but very few players instruct sport injury solicitors to make a personal injury compensation claim. Sports facilities, leagues, teams and referees usually have insurance to cover any risk that you may be exposed to and it is the insurance company that will pay any compensation that is due to you.
Sport Injury Circumstances
Circumstances that may give rise to a successful compensation claim by sport injury solicitors include :-
- If someone injures you as a result of deliberate or reckless foul play then you will be able to make a sports injury compensation claim for your injuries.
- If you are taking formal instruction from a trainer and you are exposed to unnecessary risk that results in injury then you may be able to make sports injury compensation claim for inadequate supervision.
- If you have been physically injured by a violent assault, in addition to being able to claim from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority you can also take civil proceedings for compensation.
- If playing surfaces are not properly cared for then the occupier of the sports ground will be held liable to pay compensation for any sports injuries resulting from a lack of proper maintenance.
Main Injury Disciplines
Sport injury solicitors take legal action for compensation in almost every leisure discipline however some events are more dangerous than others :-
Athletics Track and field accidents are both recognised risks with, amongst other things, the potential for flying objects hitting both competitors and spectators. Limb fractures in athletics are not unusual. All equipment used must be properly maintained.
Football Numerous potential injuries playing football with occasional dangerous kicks to the head and face. Accidental limb fractures in tackles that may be foul play are not at all unusual.
Hockey High speed hard balls and hockey sticks make for a game that is occasionally brutal if the ball goes high and out of control. Head injuries including facial fractures and teeth knocked out are par for the course when playing hockey.
Rugby Both Rugby League and Rugby Union account for a substantial number of head, neck and facial injuries. Spinal cord injury is not uncommon and is often caused by a poorly refereed collapsed scrum.
Equestrian Riding a horse in cross country or eventing is without doubt a dangerous pastime however even casual horse riders can suffer horrific injuries if a horse bolts, is struck by a motor vehicle or kicks out.
Sports Centre All training equipment needs to be of the highest possible standard in a sports centre or fitness centre. It should be properly erected and fully maintained in order to avoid fractures, neck injury, back injuries and brain damage. Coaching should be first class. Bone fractures are common.
Cricket A cricket ball frequently causes injuries to batsmen and fielders and occasionally spectators. Cricket is considerably more dangerous than it looks with fractured fingers, fractured facial bones and brain injury being not uncommon.
Boxing Over 1,000 people died from brain injuries sustained in boxing matches in the 20th century. Boxing remains a major cause of sport injury often with tragic results frequently caused by poor refereeing decisions in failing to stop one sided boxing bouts at an early stage.
Sports violence has been defined as behaviour which causes harm, occurs outside of the rules of the sport and is unrelated to the competitive objectives of the sport. Violence is most prevalent in team contact sports including hockey, football and rugby however it also occurs in other sports which usually involve considerably less contact. If injury is caused to another player as a result of a contravention of that particular sport's rules then a sport injury solicitor cam make a personal injury compensation claim. There are generally accepted to be two forms of aggression in sports :-
- Instrumental aggression is non-emotional and relates to the way in which the game is played and involves such items as deliberate or professional fouls where the intention is to win the game at any cost, contrary to the rules of the particular sport, even if other players are injured.
- Reactive aggression has an underlying emotional component, with harm as its goal, where one player wants to get even or loses his temper and lashes out at another player.
There are numerous instances of very serious injuries being caused to players including paraplegia and quadriplegia often due to the negligence of other players or referees with occasional involvement of facilities or equipment. A sport injury solicitors claim for catastrophic injuries can be substantial and if you have suffered an injury of the utmost severity it is in your interests to be represented by a specialist personal injury solicitor rather than taking pot luck with your local lawyer or your long established family solicitor. You need an expert which is what we provide.
Whilst there is a myriad of potential injuries caused by sporting activities the most common serious injuries caused by negligence upon which sport injury solicitors take legal action are outlined below :-
Fractures Almost all physical sports are at risk of fractures of one bone or another. Cricket wicketkeepers often have all of their fingers broken and gymnastics is potentially very dangerous.
Brain Injury Some sports are more risky than others. Boxing tops the league and any sport with hard flying balls come in second place. Horse-riding also has considerable danger.
Spine Injury Horse riding or a collapsed scrum in rugby is most likely to cause spinal cord injury which may lead to incurable paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
For the sake of convenience, solicitors separate damages (or compensation) into several different categories :-
General Damages: Represents compensation for items that cannot be calculated but must be assessed by a judge. These items have no monetary value in themselves and include things like pain and suffering, loss of lifestyle, disadvantage on the job market, loss of congenial employment etc. The idea is to restore the quality of life back to where it was had the accident not happened.
Special Damages: Represents compensation for financial losses that are calculable amounts and include things like medical bills, travel expenses, loss of wages since the accident, potential future loss of earnings, home health aide services to do chores, any necessary equipment like a wheel chair or hospital bed, specialized transportation (such as a special van), nursing care and other out of pocket expenses. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and even massage are covered under this type of compensation.
Interest: This is payable at varying amounts on different items of compensation for differing periods of time. If the case takes a long time to come to trial then substantial interest may be payable dependent on a strict calculation imposed by the court.
There are many and various definitions of negligence used by sport injury solicitors however within the context of personal injury compensation claims the one that has stood the test of time is as follows:-
"Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do."
In reality this is interpreted to mean that compensation is payable for personal injury provided that the victim was owed a duty of care, that breach of the duty of care caused an accident and that the accident was the direct cause of the injury. If the consequence of events that caused the injury were unforeseeable then the claim will fail as being 'remote'. It is therefore incumbent on all those who organise or run sports events or sports facilities to take reasonable care for the health and safety of those who are visitors, who participate or who use premises and equipment. If an injury occurs due to lack of care then liability can often be established by a sport injury and compensation must be paid to the victim usually by the insurers of the venue.
Time Limits - Limitation Act 1980
All personal injury compensation claims are subject to time limits. This is because memories fade, witnesses move or die and documentation is lost or records are corrupted. The Limitation Act 1980 governs time limits in sports injury compensation claims. In general terms a sports injury claim must be settled with compensation agreed or a summons for damages should have at least been issued out of a court of law within three years of the incident which caused the injury or within three years of the injury being discovered with reasonable diligence. Failure to comply with the time limits outlined in the Limitation Act 1980 may mean that the opportunity to claim compensation for a sports injury has been lost forever. There are exceptions for minors and the three year time period does not start to run until the eve of the 18th birthday. There are exceptions for the mentally disabled and time does not run until full mental capacity is regained which means that time may never run dependent on the victims continuing mental state. The court also has a wide discretion and can extend the time period but in reality the court rarely exercises their discretion in this manner.
Sport Injury Solicitors
Our sport injury solicitors offer advice on compensation claims at no cost. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If you would like free advice just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts will speak to you on the telephone with no further obligation.