Sport Injury

Whether you play sports seriously or just for fun, you know there’s always some level of risk of injury involved. But when those injuries are the result of someone’s negligence or malicious conduct, you might be eligible for compensation. 

It’s vital to understand sports injuries and how to tell whether you may have a personal injury case.

Fractures

Unfortunately, fractures (or broken bones) are fairly common in the world of sports. 

There are several different types of fractures, but here are five of the most common:

  • Comminuted Fracture: The bone shatters or breaks into three or more pieces
  • Transverse Fracture: The fracture line moves horizontally across the bone
  • Oblique Fracture: The fracture line is angled instead of straight across
  • Stable Fracture: The ends of the fracture line up and are not displaced
  • Compound (Open) Fracture: The fracture causes a break in the skin

Fractures may happen due to sudden trauma to the bone. Some fractures occur gradually — stress fractures are caused by overuse. They start as small cracks, but if you ignore the symptoms, they’ll continue to grow.

Tendon or Ligament Tear

Your tendons connect your muscles to bones, and your ligaments attach bones to each other. Sometimes, overstretching or twisting can cause these fibrous structures to tear partially or completely. Very severe tears may require surgery (and of course, significant downtime to heal).

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

If you suffer a severe blow to the head, you may get a traumatic brain injury. Technically, concussions — common sports injuries — are mild traumatic brain injuries. With proper care, most concussions completely resolve with no lasting consequences.

Severe TBIs, on the other hand, can have long-lasting or permanent consequences. Some people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries have problems with cognition and learning. They may also have impaired coordination. 

Because TBIs affect the brain so severely, these injuries may lead to changes in behavior, mood, and emotions as well. Some symptoms improve with time, but a bad enough brain injury can be permanently disabling.

Spinal Cord Injury

Your spinal cord is protected by the surrounding vertebrae. However, despite that protection, it’s still possible to damage or even sever your spinal cord while playing a sport. For example, if you break your neck badly enough, your spinal cord is likely to be affected. 

Spinal cord injuries have the potential to cause paralysis. If the injury happens very high up on the spine, it may result in quadriplegia (paralysis in your arms, legs, and most of the rest of your body). If the spinal cord injury happens lower, it’s more likely to cause paraplegia (paralysis affecting your legs and lower body).

Meniscal Tear

Your meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that absorbs shock. Bad knee sprains can cause it to tear, and tearing is more likely if you have tearing or damage to the other knee ligaments.

If the tear is relatively mild, a torn meniscus may heal with rest. However, in many cases, meniscal tears require surgery.

Can You Receive Compensation for a Sports Injury?

Most types of sports injuries don’t lead to successful legal claims. After all, sports come with inherent risks, and when you play a sport, you assume those risks. Additionally, some organized sports require you to sign a waiver absolving the sponsoring organization of any legal liability.

However, if your injury results from something that isn’t a typical risk of playing the sport itself, you might have a case. Here are three situations when you may be able to pursue legal action.

Defective Sports Equipment or Unsafe Facilities

In many types of sports, players rely on helmets and other types of protective gear. When that equipment is defective, it may lead to serious injury and even death. If your legal team can prove that the equipment you used had a defect and the defect caused your injury, you may have a personal injury case against the manufacturer.

Similarly, if a facility is unsafe and causes an injury, you might have a case based on premises liability. For example, if you are running on a sports facility’s cross-country course and you break your leg by stepping in a deep hole, the facility may be liable for your injury.

Negligent Coaching

If you have a coach, you probably trust that coach to follow basic safety protocols and to know what to do in a medical emergency. If a coach doesn’t respond like a reasonable coach would in a given situation, they may have some liability if you sustain an injury.

For example, if you suffer a serious blow to the head and are having trouble speaking or walking as a result, a responsible coach will call an ambulance. If your coach tells you they’ll wait until practice is over to call an ambulance (and your injuries become more severe as a result), the coach may be liable because of their negligence.

Intentional Misconduct

It’s easy to become injured — and even seriously injured — during the normal course of play. For example, even while wearing ample protective gear, tackle football players suffer injuries on the field fairly often. These types of injuries generally do not have any grounds for legal action. Because these injuries are a known risk of playing the sport, you assume that risk by playing.

However, it’s possible (but fortunately less common) to be injured by someone malicious while you’re playing a sport. If you’re playing soccer and someone in the stands inexplicably rushes up to you and punches you, you might be able to file a personal injury claim. The attacker might also face criminal charges.

This type of injury may form the basis of a successful personal injury claim because the injury isn’t one that happens during the normal course of play. You assumed the risk of accidental injuries when you agreed to play soccer, but you didn’t assume the risk of intentional battery.

Call a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney if You’ve Suffered a Sports Injury

Personal injury law isn’t always completely clear, especially if you’ve been injured while playing a sport. If you have suffered a serious sports injury and aren’t sure whether you can recover damages, it’s wise to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

At Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys, we work hard to help injured people like you recover the compensation they deserve. Set up a free consultation with us at (727) 933 0015 to discuss whether you may be eligible for compensation.