Children’S Sports Injuries: Recovering Damages Despite The ‘Assumption Of Risk’ Defense

It’s definitely a good thing that nearly 40 million American children under 14 are still involved in some sort of organized sports activity (after all, they could be playing video games on their PCs and smartphones instead), but it’s definitely a bad thing that many of those kids sustain sports injuries.

Fact: Each year, more than 3.5 million children are injured while participating in a sports activity, and nearly 780,000 of those are severe injuries that require medical attention in the emergency room (ER).

“Interestingly,” says our Salt Lake City sports injury attorney at Jardine Law Offices P.C., P.C., “About 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals are children in the 5-14 age group.”

Although death is not very common in sports injuries, brain injuries is one of the leading causes of death among children in that age group. Sadly, sports account for about 40 percent of all causes of brain injuries among children between the ages 5 and 14.

Children’s sports injuries and the assumption of risk defense

Statistics show that nearly 50,000 children between the ages of 8 and 13 are treated in hospitals for sports-related concussions. Our experienced sports injury attorney in Salt Lake City says that strains and sprains still account for a vast number of children’s sports injuries, though a large percentage of sports injuries in children are more serious.

Unless someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to a sports injury to your child, recovering damages for a sports injury will not be as easy as you think. As a rule of thumb, it is nearly impossible to seek compensation for children’s sports injuries that occur in the normal course of the sports activity.

If you attempt to sue another party, he or she will most likely mount the “assumption of the risk” defense, which is a legal defense that protects coaches, schools, sports facilities and others from liability by arguing that the injured assumed the risks of injury associated with that sport.

How you can still sue for your child’s sports injury

Nonetheless, it may still be possible to sue another party for your child’s sports injury if any of the following is true:

  • Children were participating in a sports activity while using defective or otherwise dangerous sports equipment;
  • A coach failed to take necessary precautions during a sports activity;
  • The sports facility failed to monitor the health conditions of the children;
  • The coach or another party failed to properly supervise the children during the sports activity;
  • The facility was improperly maintained and had hazardous conditions;
  • The facility had improperly trained medical staff (or lack thereof); or
  • The medical staff at the facility rendered inadequate medical care.

Our Salt Lake City sports injury lawyer warns, however, that the “assumption of the risk” defense will not be applicable if the sports injury was caused by an intentional act on behalf of another player or coach. In that case, there may be a cause of action against that player or coach.

If your child has been injured while playing or participating in any type of sports activity, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced sports injury lawyer Salt Lake City from Jardine Law Offices P.C., P.C. Get a free consultation by calling our offices at 801-350-3506.