Watching the Grand National over the weekend and thinking to myself what a dangerous sport it can be not only for the horses involved but the jockeys also it made me think to myself, do people realise that if they’re injured while participating in any form of sport that they could claim compensation? So I took a look into it and this is what I found.
You might think that sports injury claims would primarily be associated with professional sports players. Quite the opposite is true in fact. The majority of sports injury claims are filed by amateur sports participants. I read recently somewhere that about 70% of the Uk population (might be British population, can’t quite remember) will tell you that they have at some time in their life participated in an organized sports game like rugby, hockey, football, cricket, horse riding, or boxing. Any of those activities can lead to injuries, even when you are following the game rules.
Various causes of Sports Injury Claims
There are a lot of things that can happen to cause you to be injured while participating in a sporting activity but some common issues that result in people having to file sports injury claims are these:
In many sports activities one player will tackle another player in an attempt to get the ball away from them. If these tackles are not executed properly or dangerously with intent to harm then they can result in physical injury and could lead to a compensation claim.
- Improper coaching advice
A coach must know the fundamentals of the game. If the person coaching the players is not properly trained they could advise players to perform dangerous activities during game play, like inappropriate tackles, that could result in one or more players being injured which may lead to compensation claims.
There have been incidences of spectator riots after a competition. Some of the rioters have been known to cause injuries to other spectators, even to some spectators who were not involved in the rioting activity.
If it can be proven that a rioter or hooligan caused you an injury you could make a claim against them. In these sorts of cases a personal injury lawyer can assist with a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
- Gaming equipment
Balls can often leave the field of play and strike a spectator. This can result in injuries to the spectator, or damage to personal property. Sometimes gaming equipment malfunctions due to a defect from the manufacturer and when this occurs injuries may be sustained.
- Stadiums or grounds that are not properly maintained
Many spectators are injured at sporting events because the stadium or grounds they were visiting have not been properly maintained. Stadium seating can be in disrepair and cause an unsuspecting person to fall, or you could trip on loose floor tiles, or be injured in many other ways.
If there has been a lack in duty of care towards visitors to stadiums or grounds and a spectator or participant has been injured because of it this is when compensation might be claimed.
What to do if you suspect you have a Sports Injury Claim
The first thing you should know about sports injury claims is that you need to hear the advice of a lawyer/solicitor.
Each year there are people who have suffered a sports injury who will not be compensated properly for their medical costs, their loss of wages, or their pain, and suffering, because they decided to forego consulting a solicitor, and they handled their sports injury claims themselves. Take it from somebody who knows, solicitors may not be cheap but they can be worth their weight in gold. Simply contacting one for some legal advice (which in most cases will cost you nothing) should be a top priority.
Finding a solicitor
If you don’t already have a solicitor or have no recommendations from people you may know, finding a solicitor is really exceptionally easy. A quick search on the internet will provide you with numerous results, and if you use Google you should also see local personal injury solicitors and lawyers presented to you. I’m in Manchester and if I search on Google for personal injury solicitors there are about 60 local results I can choose from. One example listing is Personal Injury Solicitors Manchester (website here).
Sometimes however having a lot of options can make things a bit more complicated when trying to find a good solicitor r lawyer that suits you. There may be firms that you have already heard of that are more national than local, and there will be solicitors that just serve the local area, or region. Choosing who is right for you can be time consuming and possible daunting if you aren’t aware of what to look for but Citizens Advice provide some good information I suggest you take a look at here that will help you.
If a visit to a solicitor seems a bit daunting or your injury prevents you from traveling then it may offer you some comfort in knowing that you probably won’t even need to visit the solicitors office as most things today can just be sorted through phone consultations and email. Or the solicitor or an associate may even pay you a home visit if necessary.
When you are contacting a solicitor for any sort of injury claim it will save time if you have the following information handy.
- The date when the injury occurred;
- Where the injury occurred;
- Who was present when the injury occurred;
- What you were doing prior to the event;
- What you did immediately following the event;
- Names and contact information of any potential witness;
- Names of the person responsible for the injury.
G Macs final thought
If you think you’ve found the right personal injury solicitor to represent you when filing a sports injury claim a few questions you might want to clarify with them are:
- Are they a regulated law firm or CMC (claims management company)?
- Are they providing their service on a no win no fee arrangement?
- What are their fees?
- Are there any hidden or extra costs involved?
- How much compensation will you get?
- Do they provide interim payments?
By no means are you limited to the number of questions you can ask them and you will probably have many. Any reputable firm or CMC should be more than obliging.