Many adults have fond memories of playing sports as a child. These memories are often punctuated with triumphs and losses and, unfortunately, the occasional injury. Injuries are simply a part of playing a sport, regardless of whether that sport is classified as being a contact sport or not. In any case, most sports injuries result without negligence and no one can be held legally liable for causing the injury. However, when a player is injured due to someone else’s negligent or malicious conduct then the injured player may be able to hold the responsible party liable in a court of law by filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is true even when the injured player is a child. Parents are often unsure about the law surrounding childhood sports injury claims so this article is dedicated to answering some of their commonly asked questions.
Q: My child broke his leg while playing outdoor soccer when he tripped over a gopher hole, can the soccer club who maintains the field be held liable?
A: Perhaps. In order to recover damages from the soccer club you would probably need to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your son and demonstrate that the facilities provided were faulty and/or unsafe. If this can be established then your son would likely have a viable personal injury claim.
Q: While playing basketball, a kid from the opposing team lost his temper and punched my teenage son in the face. His nose is broken and requires surgery, can we file a personal injury claim against the kid who hit him?
A: Yes, most definitely. From the facts provided it seems that the kid who hit your son did so intentionally and maliciously. However, if your son’s injury had occurred from an accidental elbow to the nose during the course of the game then your son would not have a viable claim because athletes assume a certain amount of risk when they agree to participate in a sporting event. This assumed risk only encompasses injuries that are a natural or expected consequence of the game (for example getting an elbow to the nose while playing basketball) and does not include unexpected acts of violence (for example being intentionally punched in the face during a basketball game).
Q: I signed a liability waiver for my daughter’s high school softball team before the season started and she was injured during the first practice, is her school released from liability because I signed their waiver?
A: If your daughter’s injury was an accident then the release is likely enforceable. However, don’t automatically assume you’re your daughter doesn’t have a case because you signed a waiver. Releases of liability can sometimes be invalidated if the injury sustained was the product of a negligent or willful act.
Q: How long do I have to file a personal injury claim on my child’s behalf?
A: Under section 95.11 of the Florida Statutes personal injury claims generally must be filed within four years of the date on which the injury at issue occurred. Claims filed after this statute of limitations has expired will almost always be denied, however there are some limited exceptions so be sure to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in order to accurately determine how much time you have left to file.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help with Your Case
Childhood sports injuries can be serious and expensive to treat. If your child was injured due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful act, understand that you may be able to recover compensation for your child’s injury. If you live in Florida and have questions about the possibility of filing a childhood sports injury claim, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law today.