Millions of American children take part in sports, whether it be pickup games at the park, Little League, or school teams. Sports can be a great opportunity for a young person to learn social skills as well as get exercise. Children who participate in sports develop self-discipline as well as learning to follow rules.
With so many young adults taking part in sports, it is no surprise that there are a great many sports injuries each year. In fact, each year it is estimated over 2 million sports injuries occur among young people, resulting in hundreds of thousands of doctor visits and tens of thousands of hospitalizations. These injuries range in severity from minor sprains to broken bones to potentially fatal head injuries.
Whenever one of these injuries occur, one of the most important questions is whether or not it was preventable. Certain injuries are the result of bad luck or a freak accident, but other injuries occur due to negligence on the part of the school or league responsible for the game.
Generally speaking, injuries that occur in the normal scope and practice of the game are not the result of negligence. Negligence occurs when a child is injured due to poor coaching, a lack of supervision, or substandard equipment. For example, if a child suffered a neck injury making a tackle in football because the coach taught the child to lead with the head, this is unacceptable. If a child is injured by a broken baseball bat because the school is using previously damaged equipment, this is also unacceptable.
Determining the extent to which an injury can be attributed to negligence can be very difficult. Recognizing the normal scope and rules of the game is only the first step, as apparently minor deviations can have significant consequences. If your child has been injured in a school or club sport, please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.