If you were injured during a game of football, either as a player or spectator, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses. To have a valid football injury claim, your injuries must have resulted from the careless, dangerous or negligent behaviour of a third party.
Some examples leading to a potential compensation claim include unsafe equipment or playing conditions, bad coaching, criminal assaults and lack of adequate safety measures. These could cause various injuries, from mild cuts and lacerations to fractures and severe brain injuries.
If you believe you may be entitled to football injury compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to find out if you can start a claim. If your case has merit, you will be able to claim on a 100% No Win No Fee basis. That means you do not have to pay any upfront fees and will not be left out of pocket if your claim is unsuccessful.
Can I make a football injury claim?
If you were injured playing football, you might be able to start a compensation claim for the pain, suffering and financial losses incurred. A good way to determine if you have a valid claim is by asking the following three questions:
- Did another party or entity owe you a duty of care?
- Did their negligent or intentional actions cause an incident or accident to occur?
- Have you suffered an injury as a result?
The easiest way to check if you fulfil all the above requirements is through a quick and free consultation with a legal adviser. They will ask you a few questions about your circumstances to verify that a duty of care exists and that you were injured due to negligence or wrongdoing.
If they can assess liability, your solicitor will help you gather evidence to support a football injury claim. You must be able to show how you sustained your injuries, their type and extent and how they have affected your life. The following evidence could all prove useful in this regard:
- Copies of your medical records to show how severe your injury was, the treatments you received, and your recovery prospects;
- Video footage, if anyone captured the incident on camera;
- Photographic evidence of the cause of your football injury before anything is moved or repaired. Examples may include damaged equipment, unsafe facilities or a poorly maintained pitch;
- Contact details of other spectators or players who have witnessed your injury. In case of liability disputes, your solicitor may ask for their statement to clarify matters;
- A copy of an accident report you should file with the facility owner or operator. This will help prove the date, time and location of your accident.
- In cases related to assaults, you should report the incident to the police. You will need a police reference number to claim criminal injury compensation.
Once you have all the necessary evidence to start legal proceedings, your solicitor will contact the defendant and inform them of your claim. If they admit liability, you may begin to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, you may need to argue your case before a judge. But keep in mind that more than 95% of all claims settle without a trial, so having to go to court is unlikely.
Who could be liable for a football injury?
Some potential third parties that may be responsible for a football-related injury include:
- Other players, if the injury was due to their intentional or negligent actions;
- A coach or trainer that has provided improper training or poor supervision;
- The football club or team if they have failed to maintain safe playing conditions, provide proper equipment, or put in place adequate safety protocols;
- Stadium or facility owners, if an accident was a result of hazardous conditions such as unsafe seating, inadequate lighting, or poorly maintained playing surfaces;
- Equipment manufacturers, if the injury was due to a defect in the equipment, such as faulty protective gear or defective goalposts.
The party responsible for your injury will not always have the means to cover the damages they have caused. Instead, the football injury compensation will typically be paid by either:
- An insurance policy that is paid through subscription fees;
- A public liability insurance held by the responsible party, such as a club, sports centre or event organiser;
- The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), if you have been assaulted while playing football or spectating a game.
It is essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine the specific parties who may be liable in your sports injury claim. They can evaluate the circumstances, gather evidence, and advise you on the best course of action for seeking compensation.
Common causes of football injury claims
As with any sport, injuries during football games are to be expected and are usually nobody’s fault. Nonetheless, some scenarios may lead to a claim for compensation, including:
Negligence or intentional actions of another player
Injuries can occur due to another player’s actions, such as reckless tackles or deliberate fouls that go beyond the accepted norms of the game. Most clubs affiliated with the Football Association (FA) ask players to sign a policy saying they will act within the laws of the game. If another player has caused you an injury, you may have grounds to claim football injury compensation from the other club.
Unsafe equipment or playing conditions
Faulty equipment, such as goalposts or protective gear and poorly maintained playing surfaces can also contribute to injuries. The football pitch should be flat, without significant divots or mounds, and free of chemicals or debris that might cause burns, cuts or lacerations. If the responsible party, such as the stadium owner or organiser, has failed to address these hazards, it may result in a valid compensation claim.
Coaches must provide players with proper training and instruction on the techniques, strategies, and rules of the game. They must assess the players’ physical and skill capabilities and make informed decisions about their participation in a game or training activity. If a coach has provided improper training methods or supervision, resulting in injuries, you may have grounds for a football injury claim.
Inadequate medical care
Prompt and appropriate medical care is crucial in managing footballing injuries. Some injuries may worsen due to inadequate or negligent medical care, such as delayed diagnosis, improper treatment, or failure to provide necessary rehabilitation. That could give rise to a claim against the medical professionals or the club responsible for their care.
Failure to follow safety guidelines
Football clubs and organisations must provide a safe environment for players. That includes implementing safety guidelines, such as appropriate warm-up procedures, injury prevention programs, and proper coaching and supervision. Failure to do so could make them liable for any resulting injuries.
Unfortunately, both players and spectators at football matches may be the victims of assault by other players, officials or spectators. If you have been the victim of violence and suffered an injury such as a broken jaw, it is crucial to report the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as the match referee, coach, or club officials and also make a formal police report. In such cases, you will likely have to claim compensation through the CICA for criminal injuries.
Other types of negligence or wrongdoing may lead to a football injury to players or spectators. A personal injury solicitor can assess your circumstances and let you know whether you are entitled to compensation for the damages incurred.
Types of football injuries you could claim compensation for
Minor injuries like knocks and bruises are accidental and unavoidable in contact sports like football. However, poorly maintained pitches, bad tackles and other types of negligence can cause avoidable and sometimes severe trauma that could lead to a football injury claim.
Some common types of footballing injuries for which you may be able to claim compensation include:
Fractures and dislocations
Accidents during football may lead to broken ankles and fractures in the arms, legs, feet, hands, or any other part of the body resulting from collisions, falls, or impacts with another player or object. Football players may also experience joint dislocations, such as in the shoulder, elbow, jaw or finger joints, when a sudden force or impact pushes the bones out of their normal position.
Fractures and dislocations can vary in severity and may require medical intervention, such as casting, splinting, or in some cases, surgery. The recovery time and long-term impact depend on the specific injury and individual circumstances.
Head and brain injuries
Head and brain injuries are a significant concern in football due to the physical nature of the sport. These can range from mild concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by collisions, falls, repeatedly heading the ball or impacts during the game. Such injuries can result in symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness to long-term cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.
Soft tissue injuries
These include sprains, strains, torn ligaments, and muscle damage from sudden movements, overexertion, or tackles. Soft tissue injuries can vary in severity, with mild cases requiring rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) for recovery. More severe cases may require medical treatment, physical therapy, or even surgery.
Injuries to the eyes, such as corneal abrasions, detached retinas, or eye socket fractures, can occur due to direct impact from a ball or accidental contact with another player. Eyelid lacerations refer to cuts or tears in the eyelids caused by sharp objects or a forceful impact and may require stitches or surgical repair. Eye injuries can significantly impact the injured person’s life and may also lead to severe emotional distress. You might be eligible to pursue compensation if you were injured playing football due to someone else’s negligence or unsafe conditions.
Dental injuries can occur in football due to accidental impacts, collisions, or being struck by a ball or another player. These include broken or chipped teeth, tooth avulsion, tooth fractures, and soft tissue injuries to the gums or tongue. They may cause pain, swelling, and difficulty eating or speaking and have long-lasting consequences for oral health and appearance.
Overuse injuries in football are commonly associated with repetitive movements, high-intensity training, and inadequate rest or recovery. They develop gradually over time due to repetitive strain or stress on specific body parts, including tendonitis, bursitis, and stress fractures. To prevent overuse injuries, it is essential to incorporate proper training techniques, warm-up and cool-down exercises, and adequate rest and recovery periods.
This list is not exhaustive, and you could sustain many other types of traumas playing football. As long as you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, a solicitor could help secure football accident compensation for the pain, suffering and other losses you suffered as a result.
Can I claim compensation if my child was injured playing football?
Under UK law, children are not allowed to make a personal injury claim until their 18th birthday. If your child was injured playing football and a third party was at fault, you could claim compensation on their behalf by applying to the court to be appointed as their litigation friend.
Before allowing you to pursue football injury compensation for your child, the court will verify that:
- You can conduct legal proceedings fairly and with competence;
- No conflict of interest could interfere with your duty to represent the child impartially and make decisions that are solely in their best interests;
- You are willing to pay any fees requested by the court.
After you have received approval to become your child’s litigation friend, you will have several duties, including:
- Make decisions that promote their well-being
- Collect and collate evidence to support a football injury claim
- Provide instructions to solicitors and take legal advice
- Ensure that the child’s views, wishes, and feelings are taken into account when possible
- Attend any court hearings
- Consider any settlement offers from the defendant
The role of a litigation friend in a child injury claim typically ends when the case is resolved or when the child reaches the age of 18 and can handle the legal proceedings themselves. In some cases, your role may also end if you or someone else has a valid reason to apply to the court for a replacement.
All claims on behalf of children must go through an Infant Approval Hearing before a judge. They will examine the available evidence, such as medical reports and expert opinions, to determine whether the child has received a fair amount of compensation for their losses.
Your solicitor can also help you set up a personal injury trust for your child. That will ensure their compensation is properly handled and used for their benefit and will not affect their eligibility for any means-tested state benefits in the future.
Can I make a claim if I was injured watching a football game?
During a football game, there is a duty of care owed by various parties to ensure the safety of spectators, as detailed below:
- Stadium owners and operators must ensure the safety of spectators by maintaining the premises in reasonably safe condition. That includes regularly inspecting and repairing facilities, providing adequate seating and crowd control measures, and addressing any known hazards that could pose a risk to spectators;
- The organisers of the football game have to plan and conduct the event in a manner that minimises the risk of harm to spectators. This includes implementing appropriate crowd management strategies, ensuring proper security measures, and complying with relevant health and safety regulations;
- The security personnel at the football game must maintain order, prevent violence or disturbances, and respond to any emergencies that may arise. They should receive proper training on how to handle crowd control situations and protect spectators from harm;
- Local authorities, such as the police and relevant licensing bodies, have to oversee the safety and security of the event. They may be responsible for enforcing regulations and coordinating emergency services if needed;
- Football clubs or teams participating in the game are responsible for ensuring that their players and coaching staff conduct themselves in a manner that does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to spectators. That includes taking appropriate measures to prevent incidents of violence or misconduct.
If you were injured at a football game due to a breach of any of these duties, you might be entitled to claim football injury compensation. Examples of accidents at a football game that might lead to a claim include:
- Slips, trips and falls on wet floors, uneven surfaces, damaged stairs or debris in the stadium
- Collapsed seating, broken handrails, or falling objects causing injuries to spectators
- Inadequate crowd control measures or overcrowding leading to spectators being pushed, crushed, or trampled
- Incidents of violence, fights, or assaults among spectators or involving security personnel
Time limits to make a football injury compensation claim
If you suffered a football injury, there are strict time limits for starting a compensation claim under the Limitation Act 1980. Usually, the claim limitation date is three years following an accident or injury. When an injury does not become immediately apparent, the three years will start to run from the date of knowledge. This is when you became aware that:
- You have suffered an injury or illness
- It was due to the fault or negligence of a third party
- The identity of the party responsible for it
There are several exceptions to the three-year time limit to start a personal injury claim:
- If the injured person is under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, the three-year time limit begins from their 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian could claim on behalf of the child before they turn 18.
- If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to handle their legal affairs, there is no time limit for claiming as a litigation friend on their behalf. The time limit only starts if the person regains their mental capacity.
- If the injury resulted from a criminal act such as an assault, a claim may be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The time limit for claiming through the CICA is two years from the date of the incident.
- If you were injured at a football game abroad, the time limit to claim compensation for a football injury could depend on the foreign country’s legal system.
You should always seek legal advice as soon as possible after a football injury, as failing to start a claim within the time limit may result in losing your right to seek compensation. That will also make it easier to gather evidence for your claim and ensure that any details of the incident are still fresh in your mind and that of any witnesses.
How much compensation can I claim for a football injury?
The compensation you can expect in a football injury claim depends on various factors, including the severity of the injury, the impact on your life, and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. Each case is unique, and compensation amounts can vary widely.
The compensation award aims to provide financial support to help you recover and manage the consequences of your injury. It typically consists of two main components:
General damages are based on the nature and extent of the injury, as well as medical reports and expert opinions and consider:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The impact on your relationships
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of independence
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced quality of life
Special damages cover the financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of the injury and include:
- The cost of medical treatment, including hospital bills, doctor’s fees and medications
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Any necessary medical equipment or aids
- Loss of earnings, including bonuses and other employment benefits
- Loss of earning capacity
- The cost of travel to and from medical appointments and therapy sessions
- The cost of necessary care and assistance during the recovery period
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate any disabilities or limitations caused by the injury
- Compensation for any other reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the injury, such as additional childcare costs or transportation expenses
It is essential to keep records and receipts of all expenses and losses incurred due to the injury to support your claim for special damages. General damages will be awarded based on similar previous cases and the guidelines offered by the Judicial College. You can refer to our online compensation calculator to learn more about how much you could receive in a football injury claim based on the type and severity of the harm you suffered.
Alternatively, get in touch to speak to a trained legal adviser by calling free on 0800 678 1410 or using our online claim form to request a call back. You will receive a free consultation to find out if you have a valid claim and how much compensation your claim could be worth.
Can I make a No Win No Fee football injury claim?
Yes, it is possible to make a football injury compensation claim on a no win no fee basis. Also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), no win no fee is common in personal injury cases, including claims for football injuries.
If you have a valid case with a fair chance of success, the solicitors we work with will offer you a no win no fee service following your free case assessment. That means you do not have to pay any upfront fees for legal representation, and there is no financial risk to you if the claim is unsuccessful.
Under a no win no fee arrangement, you only have to pay your solicitor a success fee if and when you receive compensation for your injuries. This fee is agreed upon from the beginning and cannot exceed 25% of your award for pain, suffering and past financial losses.
At the beginning of the accident claims process, your solicitor will also ensure you will not have to pay any legal fees and expenses if your case fails. They will take out an After the Event (ATE) policy on your behalf, a type of legal expenses insurance which covers:
- The costs incurred by the other side
- Costs of printing and copying
- Court and counsel fees
- Travel expenses related to the case
- Police and medical reports
- The cost of hiring expert witnesses
If your no win no fee football injury claim is successful, the defendant will pay the costs incurred during legal proceedings. You will only have to cover the ATE insurance premium and the success fee to your solicitor. If your case fails, you do not have to pay anything.
If you believe you could be entitled to compensation for your football injury, call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to an experienced legal adviser. Or, if you prefer, enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back, with no obligation to proceed with a claim.