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Do Athletes Always Assume the Risk of Injury in Sports?

Published on Jun 18, 2020 at 11:38 am in Personal Safety.

Green cleat on orange soccer ball

We rely on sports so we can come together and exercise, socialize, and have fun. Most times, playing sports doesn’t lead to injuries that require medical attention, like scrapes, small bruises, and soreness. But other times, athletes can collide in the wrong way or trip on their own, and cause serious injuries for one another. When an injury happens while playing a sport, who is liable?

Liability for an injury while playing a sport depends on many variables. But when another person’s actions caused your severe injury, you might want to look into taking legal action. A Columbia personal injury lawyer from Solomon Law Group can help you decide if you have a personal injury claim or not and guide you through the legal process so you can focus on healing.

Let’s look at when athletes assume the risk of injury in sports and when they might not.

Assumption of Risk in Sports Injuries

Liability for an injury during a sporting event primarily depends on the sport played at the event. Usually, when a person plays a sport, they assume the risk of any injury that is inherent to playing that sport. This means that if you get an injury that commonly happens while playing a particular sport, then you are most likely going to be responsible for taking care of your injuries.

In legal terms, this is called “volenti non fit injuria,” which means that a person who willingly goes into a dangerous situation cannot recover compensation for their injuries. While this applies to general injuries involved with sports, if you are seriously injured, or worse, then you may be able to sue the responsible or negligent party.

For example, if you’re playing tennis and sprain your ankle while lunging to return a lob, then you would not be able to sue for that injury. However, if you’re playing with a trainer who serves the ball at an unreasonable speed and hits you in the chest, causing a heart attack, then you might be able to recover damages for your injury.

Implied Assumption of Risk vs. Expressed Assumption of Risk

When you play a sport, there is either an implied assumption of risk or an expressed assumption of risk. An implied assumption of risk is when a person willingly participates in a sport without a written or verbal communication about the risk. When there is an expressed assumption of risk, there is either a written waiver signed or a verbal agreement to assume the risk of the sport.

For example, even spectators at events assume the risk of injury. By attending an event, like a baseball game, the spectator takes an implied assumption of risk because they know they could be hit by a foul ball or home run, as it is a well-known danger of attending a game.

However, the athlete is not always liable for the injuries they endure from a sport. In order to have a claim for an injury that you suffered while playing a sport, you’ll have to prove there was enhanced risk caused by a coach, facility owner, or an event organizer. Depending on the damages that come from the sport, and if you can prove negligence, you might have a personal injury claim.

Solomon Law Group Is Here for You

In Columbia, a personal injury lawyer from Solomon Law Group can help you determine how to move forward with your claim after a sports-related injury. You might be unsure if you even have a case, but our experienced personal injury attorney will investigate the situation and figure out what would be fair compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. Reach out to our office today so that we can discuss your potential case and your legal options.

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