Can you sue a school for a sports injury?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Personal injury |

Sports injuries happen all the time. This is an especially common phenomenon in physical sports, such as football. All it takes is a player’s leg getting twisted when they get tackled for them to tear their ACL or another ligament in their knee, for example. Players also often suffer from concussions and other types of brain injuries. Injuries – to some extent – are, indeed, a risk of playing certain games and may not necessarily be fully avoidable.

This makes many people think that they could never sue a school or a coach for a sports-related injury. After all, if the sport is dangerous and the player knew that, and if they signed a waiver, then it seems like the program itself wouldn’t be responsible if their child sustains sports-related harm. But the truth is that there are certain times wherein a lawsuit may be permissible (and even advisable), and suits like this have been won in the past.

Did the school exhibit gross negligence?

At issue is whether there was an element of gross negligence at play in the scenario, which could mean that the coach isn’t properly supervising the players or did something else that made the risk of an injury unusually high.

For example, maybe a player was given an outdated football helmet. They complained that it wasn’t good enough to play in and they were nervous to wear it, but their coach told them simply to put it on and get in the game. If the player then suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) because they weren’t given the right safety equipment, they may have the option to sue the program for negligence. This isn’t to say that the best football helmet in the world can stop all types of brain injuries, but players are supposed to be given proper equipment to mitigate this risk.

What steps do you need to take?

Navigating the aftermath of injurious circumstances can be overwhelming, in part, because you need to sort out the facts and determine if negligence was involved or if the injury was just something that happened because a sport is inherently dangerous. Both sides of the scenario may perceive the answer to this concern very differently.

If your child has been injured while playing sports, this is one of the reasons why it’s so important for you to understand what legal options are at your disposal, what your rights are and what the truth genuinely is. An experienced personal injury can help you to sort out each of these challenges in turn.