Los Angeles Sports Injury Lawyer
The dangers of certain sports, such as football, are inherently dangerous. This is particularly true when they are played at a professional level. No parent, though, expects their child to become seriously injured, or even lose their life, as they head off to swimming lessons or a soccer game. Tragically, however, dozens of people are killed and hundreds more suffer serious injuries during sports and recreational accidents.
If you believe your child or other family member suffered a sports injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim for damages. These claims are extremely complex, and one small mistake could mean a forfeiture of the damages your family deserves. There may be waivers involved, or you may not fully understand the laws that govern these cases. Below, one of our Los Angeles sports injury lawyers at Personal Injury Legal Group explains more.
Where Do Sports Injuries Occur?
It is natural to first think of a football or soccer field when considering sports injuries. Unfortunately, these are not the only places sports injuries occur. The most common locations where sports injuries occur are as follows:
- Injuries and fatalities at educational camps, wilderness camps, and overnight camps
- Drownings in boating, swimming, diving, and jet ski accidents
- Injuries and fatalities at scout camps
- Skiing hills and resorts due to a failure to prevent access to dangerous areas or a failure to warn of certain dangers
Some of the reasons why sports accidents happen include dangerous property conditions or coaches who lack the appropriate level of training to oversee rigorous sports activities. A child or family member may suffer a catastrophic injury in many possible ways during training sessions on the field or at actual sporting events. Depending on the specific conditions of an accident, multiple parties may be responsible for the injuries that were sustained.
Common Causes of Sports Injuries
From a lack of appropriate coaching training to defective conditions on a property, there are many ways children can become injured due to a sports injury. There are many causes of sports injuries, but some of them are more common than others. These include:
- Negligent coaching: Negligent coaching refers to when the coach of a team is careless, and that carelessness results in injury. For example, a coach may become so enthusiastic that they push their players too hard and ask them to complete tasks they do not have the ability to do.
- Dangerous or defective products: All types of sports use some sort of equipment. A goalpost on a soccer field may collapse, seriously injuring the goalkeeper. Or, the drain in a swimming pool may be defective and pull a child down using violent suction.
- Hazards on a property: All property owners are expected to keep their premises in a safe condition so no one becomes hurt. This legal duty extends to schools and sporting venues. Hazards on a property can include deep holes in a field, loose wires on the floor, or spills that are not properly cleaned up right away.
- Lack of an emergency action plan: Due to the fact that sporting events are known to sometimes cause injuries, schools and other venues should have an emergency action plan in place. Although these plans cannot stop an accident from occurring, they can mitigate the injuries sustained by outlining clear steps to take afterward.
- Failure to recognize certain injuries: Coaches, trainers, and others who are involved in sports should be able to identify when certain injuries are occurring. If a baseball player is hit in the head with a ball, for example, coaches should sit them out at least temporarily so they can look for signs of a concussion. Or, if soccer players have been on the pitch for a long time on a hot summer day, the coach should know the signs of heat exhaustion so they can get players the help they need right away.
- Acts of violence or abuse: Sadly, abuse in athletics has become all too common today, and it can cause serious injuries. Additionally, a coach may become so frustrated with one of their own players that they are violent towards them and cause a player harm. Even though these acts are intentional and not considered negligence, anyone who engages in them can still be held liable for any injury caused.
It is critical to identify the cause of a sports injury so you know who to hold liable for paying damages for it.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Cruise Ship Accidents
Determining Liability for a Sports Injury
There are many potentially liable parties who are to blame for a sports injury. The most common of these include:
- Coaches and supervisors: Coaches and supervisors have a legal obligation to make sure that the children in their care remain safe. Oftentimes, these individuals are the only ones there, as parents often simply drop children off at sporting events. When coaches and supervisors fail to fulfill their legal duty, they can be held liable for any injury that occurs due to negligence or intentional acts, such as abuse.
- Manufacturers: All manufacturers have a duty to make sure the products they create are safe to use. When they release products that are defective or flawed, manufacturers can be held liable. When a manufacturer causes serious injury due to an unsafe product, they can be held strictly liable. This means that injured individuals do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent. They must only prove a product was defective and that they became injured as a result.
- Schools: All schools have a duty to make sure the children in their care are kept safe. When they fail to have an emergency action plan, fail to provide appropriate supervision, or allow dangerous conditions to be present on school grounds, they can be held liable.
The above parties are just a few entities that can be held liable for a sports injury. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our skilled attorneys can determine who is liable for your injury or your child’s and help you obtain the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.
Do Waivers Automatically Shield Negligent Parties From Liability?
Many times, individuals who participate in sports and camps are required to sign a liability waiver. These waivers protect the organization from a lawsuit alleging they are liable for an injury or accident. Still, even if you or a loved one has signed a waiver of liability, you should not assume that you cannot receive any compensation at all.
Sports injuries can occur in a number of different ways. Waivers of liability do not cover all instances, and after an accident, the waiver you or your loved one signed may not apply. There may have been a dangerous condition on the property, or the waiver may not protect certain entities. If you were injured by a defective product, for example, the waiver will not cover the manufacturer who created the flawed product that caused your injury.
How are Child Sports Injury Cases Different From Others?
A sports injury can happen at any level, but the most devastating cases involve children who are injured just because they were playing a sport they love. Children have as much right to damages when they are injured by another person’s negligence as adults. However, the way they will receive it is vastly different.
Under the law, children are not considered to have the legal capacity to file legal action on their own. As such, the court generally assigns a parent as the child’s guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem acts on the child’s behalf and in a manner that serves the child’s best interests. If a fair settlement offer is made and the guardian ad litem wants to accept it, a judge must first approve it to ensure it is fair. After a judge approves the offer, medical expenses and other damages may be paid from the settlement. Any additional compensation the child receives is placed in a locked account until the child’s 18th birthday, when they can access it.
The statute of limitations, or time limit, also differs in child sports injury cases. When an adult becomes injured due to someone else’s negligence, they have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If the guardian ad litem is representing the child in court, this same statute of limitations applies. However, if no legal action is taken on the child’s behalf, the statute of limitations is tolled, or delayed, until the child’s 18th birthday. This means children have until their 20th birthday to file a claim on their own after being hurt by someone else’s carelessness.
There is an exception to the statute of limitations that includes child sports injuries, too. This exception applies when a government entity, such as a school or school district, is responsible for injuries. Claims against government entities have much shorter statutes of limitations. For adults, claims must be filed with these agencies within six months of the accident. Children, too, also have an exception in these cases. If a child waits until their 18th birthday to file a claim against a government entity, they have six months after that date to file their claim.
Personal Injury Legal Group Offers Free Consultation with a Sports Injury Attorney
Kosnett Personal Injury is dedicated to helping injured parties and their loved ones when a life was lost or catastrophic harm occurred during a sports-related incident. We will guide you through the entire claims process and we handle all sports injury cases on a contingency basis. You will only pay fees if we are successful in winning your case and securing your fair and just compensation.
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
Our Sports Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles Can Provide the Legal Advice You Need
If you, your child, or a family member has suffered a sports injury, you need sound legal advice. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles sports injury lawyers can provide it so you and your loved ones receive the full compensation you deserve. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or connect with us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Sports Injury
What is considered a sports injury?
A sports injury is any injury that occurs during participation in a sporting activity or exercise.
What are the most common types of sports injuries in California?
The most common types of sports injuries include sprains and strains, fractures, concussion, dislocations, and muscle injuries.
Who is responsible for preventing sports injuries?
It is the responsibility of both athletes and coaches to take steps to prevent sports injuries. This may include proper training, warm-up and cool-down exercises, and wearing appropriate safety equipment.
Can athletes sue for sports injuries in California?
In some cases, athletes may be able to sue for sports injuries if the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
What should I do if I am injured during a sporting activity in Los Angeles?
If you are injured during a sporting activity, you should seek medical attention immediately and document the incident. It is also important to gather contact information from witnesses.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a sports injury in California?
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. However, it is important to consult with an attorney to determine the specific time frame for your case.
Can a coach be held liable for a sports injury in California?
Yes, a coach may be held liable for a sports injury if it can be shown that the coach was negligent in their duties, such as providing adequate training or supervising athletes.
What damages can be recovered in a lawsuit for a sports injury?
Damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit for a sports injury may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Can insurance cover sports injuries?
Yes, insurance policies such as health insurance or liability insurance may cover sports injuries. It is important to review your insurance policy to understand the coverage options.
Should I hire an attorney if I am injured in a sports injury?
It is recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you are injured in a sports injury. An attorney can help you understand your legal options after a sports injury.