Injuries arising from sports-related activities are generally compensable only under certain circumstances. The reason is because sports are often inherently considered risky, and athletes and participants assume some level of that risk when they agree to engage.
Generally, if a sports-related injury involves some type of recklessness or intention to hurt someone, then it can be compensable. Youth sport injuries in particular are where most liability cases arise because they are unique with regard to the age and experience of the persons involved in the sports. Even then, if injuries occurred in the normal course of the sport, collecting damages is going to be tough. However, if injuries occur because the school or league allowed conduct that was outside the scope of the game rules (i.e., allowing use of excessive force, excessive exercise in the heat, etc.), then there could be liability. There could also be damages sought if the coaches or other staffers failed to appropriately respond to a medical emergency.
In a recent sports injury lawsuit out of Indiana, the state supreme court justices ruled that a woman seriously injured by a classmate with a jump-kick in a karate course won’t be allowed to continue with her claim for damages. The issue was she could not prove the defendant acted with recklessness or unreasonableness in the course of his participation such that would warrant a finding of negligence. Continue reading