Over 400,000 people are treated in hospital each year as a result of sports injuries including broken bones, sprains, muscle injuries and back pain. A few decades ago this was considered part of growing up, the risk you took chasing your friends around a public park. Nowadays people recognise the impact sports injuries can have both on the NHS and the individuals well being and livelihood. Sports injuries can prevent people from earning a living and are now treated as a far more serious issue than they have been in the past.
A duty of care now exists for the organiser of a sports event or the owner of a sports facility. If you are injured as a result of their negligence then you are perfectly entitled to seek compensation. Find out more below.
A Govt department set up in 2013 to monitor sports-related injuries have tracked a rapid rise in the number of people requiring treatment in hospital because of a sports injury. Most of the injuries happen to men between the ages of 10 and 30. The most common sports-related injuries include;
- Ankle injuries
- Strained ligaments
- Pulled or strained muscles
- Hamstring pulls
- Lower back pain
- Broken bones
When To Claim
Some sports are more dangerous than others. If you play a contact sport like rugby or boxing injuries are a common part of the game. You can't claim compensation if a boxing opponent injures you or if you fall over on a well-maintained football pitch. That's just part of the game.
If however, you injure yourself due to the recklessness of another participant, the negligence of the organiser of the sports event or the facility's owner then you may have a right to claim compensation. Some examples would include;
- Foreign objects on a sports pitch (glass, potholes, chemicals)
- Injuries caused by faulty equipment
- Dangerous and malicious behaviour or illegal moves
- Physical assault
- Medical negligence
A personal injury claim can be made whether the accident occurred at school, work, on a public facility or a private. If successful, you can be compensated for the costs of any medical treatment or expenses you incur as a direct result of the injury. You may be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings as well as for the suffering you have endured.
The Claims Process
The first step is to receive professional medical treatment for the injury you have suffered. It is important to have the injury diagnosed and recorded in your medical records. This proves the incident occurred and will also put a value on any costs incurred for your medical treatment. Next, you should write down everything you can remember about the incident and get the names and contact details for anybody who witnessed the incident.
- You need to go to a doctor and get checked up immediately in order to take care of the injury as well as have a diagnosis filed and recorded. This will also be indicative of financial costs incurred for medication and other medical necessities.
- Note down witnesses – if there were any witnesses, make sure you note down their information somewhere as reference for your claim. This will act as additional proof of the events that led to the injury.
- Appoint an experienced, reputable lawyer- one with direct experience of sports-related injury claims.
- Hand over all documentation to your lawyer – including receipts for medical and other expenses, wage slips (to prove loss of income) and any other documents you have that you think may be relevant. All of this will help your lawyer decide whether your claim is likely to be successful and how much compensation you could receive.
The laws relating to sport-related injuries are complicated and not everybody who is injured will be able to make a successful claim for compensation. It is advisable to contact a reputable personal injury lawyer, preferably one with experience of sports-related claims. They will be able to assess your case and give you an honest opinion on your chances of success.
Beware anyone who promises to gain you thousands of pounds of compensation before they have fully considered the facts of your case. Compensation vary’s significantly between cases but payouts can be anywhere from thousands of pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds in more serious cases.