Who is Liable for Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Sports?
One of the top causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), especially in younger victims, is playing sports. It is not uncommon for a kid who plays a contact sport to fall, collide with another player, or be hit with equipment and sustain a concussion while on the field.
In many instances, sports-related TBIs are an unfortunate risk of the game. However, other concussion incidents are avoidable and the result of negligence on the behalf of a third party.
Leagues and Coaches
In youth sports, it is ultimately the responsibility of coaches and any administrative organization to keep their players safe. Team members must be supplied with the proper safety equipment, and taught how to play their sport in a fun and safe way. A coach that does not provide their players with helmets, goggles, masks, or mouth guards, or allows a team member to play without one, endangers those players.
It is the league and their employees’ (such as referees) responsibility to enforce rules and safety regulations. Any oversight in the enforcement of safety regulations could result in a traumatic brain injury. In these cases, the people in charge of the teams could be liable.
Although a player may have all of the equipment they need for their sport, a defect in any of those pieces of equipment can endanger their safety. For example, a helmet that is not properly designed or manufactured will not fully protect a football player’s head and can be responsible for a traumatic brain injury. It is possible that a retailer could also be responsible for a TBI if they knowingly sold a defective piece of equipment.
Injury Waivers and Individual Liability
Some sports teams require their players (or their parents) to sign waivers which excuse coaches and leagues from liability in the event of an injury. In adult leagues, it is possible that there is an “assumed risk” of playing the sport. A defendant may argue that the player was aware that a TBI could result from playing, and therefore they are not liable.
The attorneys of Whiteman, Hamilton & Conklin, LLC can evaluate the details of your case, and examine any liability agreements you may have signed. We are committed to finding the people responsible for injuring you or a loved one and recovering the compensation you deserve.