However, by their very nature, sports are intensely physical activities, which carries some inherent risk. The vast majority of people who undertake sports acknowledge these risks and are “good sport¬s,” accepting the risk and stoically enduring and recovering from injury when it occurs.
But there are some moments even in sports when injuries take a severe turn and may have been unnecessary and even preventable. If that happens, the injured party may have legal options for financial compensation.
Duty Of Care
“Duty of care” is a legal term referring to the obligation people have to each other to conduct themselves in a reasonably safe manner. For example, a driver has a duty of care to other drivers on the road to not be drunk, approach every drive with proper situational awareness, and obey the traffic laws as outlined in state and municipal law. Similarly, a homeowner may have a duty of care to put a sign on the property indicating that a dog is hostile and have that dog adequately fenced in, and not let it have free reign of the neighborhood, attacking anyone it likes.
In sports, it’s a given that accidents happen. However, some accidents are random, unpredictable, and mostly unavoidable, such as a baseball hitting someone in a crowd after a home run. Some injuries are the result of carelessness, negligence, and sometimes even deliberate malice.
Negligence Has Consequences
Negligence is legally defined as an act that results in harm with the knowledge that the act itself carried a risk of causing that harm. In other words, a person knew there was a significantly higher risk of harm by performing an activity but chose to do it anyway.
Drunk driving is a perfect example of negligence, but negligent acts can sometimes occur even in sports. There is a difference between someone getting injured through tackling in a football game, and someone who gets a concussion in basketball when another player is tackled to the ground. One is an act typical of the game and within the rules, while another is a violation of the rules in an attempt to win at all costs.
Getting Legal Compensation
Things become even more severe if an injury sustained through sports negligence impacts a person’s ability to work. A college student that sustains a concussion through negligent play football or basketball, for example, may be so seriously injured that finishing the remaining school year may not be possible. Similarly, a professional athlete may have a career jeopardized by a negligent injury.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a sporting activity, even a professional one, and you think negligence may have been involved, talk to a personal injury lawyer about your possible legal options..