Watching your child compete out in the field can be a great joy. It teaches them the importance of teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship, and it’s a great way for them to keep fit. But youth sports have a dark side too, with the children taking part in these sports suffering an estimated 2.5 million injuries each year.
Almost one-third of all childhood injuries are sports-related, and while you could use your own health insurance to pay for the medical expenses, deductibles and co-pays can quickly pile up. So as you speak to a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to help you with your injury claim, here are a few things to consider:
Like all types of personal injury claims, it all comes down to negligence. Someone did something they weren’t supposed to do, or didn’t do something they were required to do, and your child got hurt in the process.
In this case, youth sports organizations, schools, coaches, referees, umpires, facility owners and other institutions involved are expected to exercise reasonable care of duty. While your child participates in events they have organized, his or her safety is in their hands, and if their negligence results in the child’s injury, they can be held liable.
How Do We Determine Negligence?
Event organizers and everyone involved in running the games is expected to be qualified in their respective fields. From the training coaches and camp counselors to referees and umpires, anyone who contributes has to be a professional.
If they aren’t competent enough, they may train the kids too hard, or fail to intervene when things get rough in the heat of the game, and they will be held liable for any injuries.
A lot of sports need specialized equipment to ensure the players’ safety during practice and competitions. The parties in charge may be required to provide the equipment or enforce compliance. Negligence on their part may be failing to provide the equipment, providing ineffective equipment or allowing kids without safety equipment to participate.
So the party or parties charged with that duty will be liable for any injuries resulting from their negligence.
In some cases, a treatable injury is left to fester, turning into something serious. The adults involved might fail to notice an injured child, or they may downplay the injury and tell the child to fight through the pain. If this happens, they will be held liable, and you can sue them for financial compensation for the consequences of delayed diagnosis and treatment.
What if You Signed a Liability Waiver?
Some sports come with a higher degree of risk. Games like football, hockey and basketball are incredibly physical, and they often result in injury. A lot of schools, campuses and youth sports organizations ask child participants or their guardians to sign a liability waiver before participating. You might think this gives the organizers an automatic release in case anything happens, but that’s not necessarily the case.
If your child signed the liability waiver before they were 18 years old, the school or campus may be unable to enforce it. It may also be ignored if the language is too broad, and seeks to absolve the adults in charge of all the blame.
Additionally, some organizations have certain tax exempt or non-profit status and as such may have certain limitations with respect to their being sued or having to be responsible or pay out any settlement or judgment to an injured person. That matter would have to be investigated as well.
Reach Out to Our Sports Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve determined that your child’s case falls within these parameters, it’s now time to bring in the big guns: a competent personal injury lawyer. Our experienced Massachusetts injury attorney will inform you of all your legal rights, and gives you the best chance of receiving compensation for your child’s injury. For more information on how to go about this, call us on (781) 289-4235 today to set up a free, initial consultation with Attorney Deborah Gold-Alexander.