All sporting activities are fun, pleasurable and good for your health and general well-being. Nonetheless, some sports, such as rugby, pose an obvious risk of injury due to the full-on and high-impact nature of the game. While many injuries are inevitable and nobody’s fault, some could be avoided by following proper health and safety measures during matches.
You may be eligible for compensation if you suffered a rugby injury due to the negligence of a third party. Examples include poorly maintained pitches, faulty equipment, bad advice from a coach or intentional assaults from other players or spectators. These could cause various injuries ranging from cuts and lacerations to severe rugby brain injuries.
To find out if you have a valid rugby injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back for a free consultation with a personal injury solicitor. They will determine if another party may be liable to pay you compensation and answer any questions you may have about the claims process.
Can I make a rugby injury claim?
If you were injured in a rugby accident, you might be wondering if you can start a compensation claim against the party you hold liable for harming you. To determine if you have a valid case, the solicitors we work with will verify whether:
- Another party, who will be the defendant in the case, owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by committing an act of negligence
- Their negligence or wrongdoing caused an incident or accident at a rugby match or training
- You were injured as a result within the last three years
If your claim meets the above criteria, a solicitor will likely agree to represent you on a no win no fee basis. They will refer to the relevant UK legislation to prove a duty of care, which could be The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 or The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, depending on the circumstances. Your solicitor will also help you gather evidence to support your case and provide support and advice at every step of the claims process.
How to claim rugby injury compensation
If you want to start a rugby injury claim, you should follow these general steps:
- Your health and well-being should be the top priority, so you should promptly seek appropriate medical care for your rugby injury. That will not only help in your recovery but also provide crucial documentation and proof for your case.
- Collect and preserve evidence related to your injury and the circumstances surrounding it, which may include:
- Photographs of the accident scene as well as any visible injuries;
- A copy of any relevant footage recorded by CCTV or somebody filming the game;
- Contact details of witnesses to your rugby accident who might later provide a statement to clarify how the events unfolded;
- A copy of an accident report form that you should file with the appropriate party to help prove the date, time and location of your accident;
- A police report if you were the victim of an assault during a rugby game;
- Evidence of financial losses and expenses, such as receipts, invoices and bank statements.
- Seek legal advice from a solicitor with expertise in sports injury claims. They will assess the merits of your case, guide you through the claims process, and provide expert advice tailored to your specific situation.
Based on the circumstances of your rugby accident and the available evidence, your solicitor will help you assess who may be liable for your injury. That could include another player, the rugby club or organisation, a coach, a sports centre, a local authority or any other party whose actions or negligence contributed to your injury.
Your injury lawyer will help you start the claims process by preparing and filing the required legal documents on your behalf. This typically includes a formal letter of claim sent to the responsible party, outlining the details of your injury and the amount of compensation you are claiming.
If the other side admits liability, your solicitor will start negotiations with them or their insurance company to reach a fair settlement. They will work to secure the maximum rugby injury compensation possible based on the circumstances of your accident.
If you cannot settle through negotiations or there are liability disputes, your solicitor will help to argue your case before a judge. Although going to court is rare, if this is required, your solicitor will guide you through the litigation process, representing your interests in court.
It is essential to note that each rugby injury claim is unique, and the specific steps and requirements may vary depending on your circumstances. Working with an experienced solicitor will ensure that you have proper legal representation and support throughout the claims process. They will handle the legal complexities, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.
To start your rugby injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser. Or, if you prefer to receive a call back, fill in our online claim form, and a legal adviser will be in touch shortly.
Who might be liable to pay compensation for a rugby injury?
There are several parties that may potentially be held liable for a rugby injury, including:
If another player’s actions on the field were careless, dangerous, or intentionally harmful and directly caused your injury, they may be held liable for compensation. That could include things like recklessly making a high tackle or not following the rules of the game.
Rugby club or organisation
Those in charge of the rugby activity may be liable if they did not have sufficient safety measures in place. This could include things like not maintaining the equipment or facilities and not giving proper training or enough supervision.
Coaches or trainers
If a coach or trainer did not give clear instructions, failed to enforce safety rules, or encouraged players to do dangerous things, they may be held responsible for any injuries that result.
Referees or officials
In certain situations, if a referee or official fails to enforce the rules of the game, resulting in a dangerous or reckless play that causes an injury, they may share some responsibility.
If the injury happened on someone else’s property, like a rugby field or sports facility, the owner might be responsible if they did not keep the place safe or address any known hazards.
In cases where the injury was due to a defective piece of rugby equipment, such as a faulty helmet or protective gear, the manufacturer or distributor could be held liable for the injury.
These are some of the potential parties that could be held responsible if you are injured whilst playing rugby, depending on the specific circumstances. Your solicitor will be able to assess your case and identify the defendant in your personal injury claim.
Examples of negligence leading to a rugby injury compensation claim
As with other contact sports, there is a high risk of unavoidable injury whenever you play rugby. If you were injured simply by playing the game and nobody else was to blame, a claim would not be possible. However, there are some scenarios where you could pursue rugby injury compensation, including:
- A rugby club has failed to maintain the playing field properly, resulting in hazardous conditions such as uneven surfaces, dangerous obstacles, or inadequate lighting;
- A coach or trainer has failed to provide proper instruction, guidance, or supervision during training or matches, leading to players engaging in dangerous or reckless behaviour;
- A rugby club or organisation provided faulty or inappropriate equipment, such as helmets, mouthguards, or protective padding, that did not adequately protect the players;
- A referee has failed to enforce the rules of the game, allowing dangerous or reckless play to continue without intervention;
- Another player acted negligently or intentionally caused harm during the game, such as making dangerous tackles, engaging in reckless behaviour, or assaulting another player;
- The rugby concussion protocols were not followed, and you or a loved one was allowed to continue playing after suffering a rugby-related head injury;
- Assaults and violent behaviour from other players, spectators or officials during a rugby match.
These are just a few examples, and the specific circumstances of each case will determine whether negligence can be established. If you believe your injury was someone else’s fault, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who can assess your case and let you know whether you have a valid rugby injury claim.
Can I claim if I was assaulted at a rugby match?
Unfortunately, rugby games can sometimes turn violent, and players or spectators can suffer severe trauma as a result. If you were assaulted at a rugby match, you could claim for any resulting injuries through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Alternatively, you could also be entitled to claim compensation through the criminal or civil court. However, this would imply that the attacker was identified and can afford to cover the damages they caused. As this is usually unlikely, most claims for assault are made through the CICA.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is a government organisation in the UK that provides compensation to victims of violent crimes. It was established to help innocent victims who have suffered physical or psychological injuries due to a criminal act.
To be eligible for compensation from the CICA, you must meet some criteria. You must report the crime to the police, cooperate with the criminal justice system, and apply for compensation within two years of the incident. The scheme also takes into account the severity of the injury, the impact on your life, and any other relevant factors.
The CICA operates independently from the criminal justice system. While the scheme compensates victims, it does not prosecute offenders or determine guilt or innocence. Its primary focus is to provide support and compensation to those who have suffered as a result of violent crimes.
Can I claim compensation if my child suffered a rugby injury?
Yes, you can make a rugby claim on behalf of your child if the negligence of a third party caused their injuries. As a parent or legal guardian, you have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries your child has sustained during a rugby match. Usually, you will need to apply to the court (with the help of your solicitor) to be formally appointed as their litigation friend. The court will consider factors such as your relationship with the child and the ability to act fairly and competently during the claims process.
To make a claim, you will need to establish that the injury occurred due to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another party, such as another player, the rugby club or organisation, coaches, referees, or even equipment manufacturers. Some examples include:
- Lack of adequate supervision from a PE teacher or rugby coach during the game
- The PE teacher did not have proper training regarding the laws of the game
- The child was not taught proper techniques, rules or safety protocols
- Their injury was due to a poorly maintained pitch or safety equipment
- A failure to conduct appropriate background checks on coaches
- Your child was the victim of an intentional act of violence from another player or coach
As a litigation friend in a child injury claim, your responsibilities include the following:
- Acting in the best interest of the child throughout the claims process
- Work closely with the solicitors working on the case and give them instructions
- Make decisions regarding the claim and any settlement offers from the other side
- Gather all necessary evidence to support the claim
- Attend court proceedings and deal with correspondence
If you want to make a rugby injury claim on behalf of your child, call 0800 678 1410 to speak to an experienced solicitor. They can let you know how you should proceed and answer any questions you may have.
Common injuries in rugby
Rugby is a physically demanding sport that can result in various injuries. Some common injuries in rugby that may lead to a compensation claim include:
Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that can occur due to direct blows to the head or from the forces of tackles, collisions, or falls. They can lead to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory problems, confusion and changes in mood or behaviour.
Sprains and strains
Sprain injuries are the tearing or stretching of ligaments, whereas a strain is when muscles or tendons tear or stretch. These injuries can occur in various body parts, such as the ankles, knees, shoulders, or hamstrings, and may result from sudden movements, tackles, or overexertion.
Fractures, or broken bones, can occur in different areas of the body, including the arms, legs, hands, or fingers. Fractured collarbones and broken jaws are particularly common in rugby, particularly from direct impacts, falls, or high-energy collisions.
Dislocations happen when the bones in a joint are forced out of their normal position. Common dislocations in rugby include those in the shoulder and finger joints and can occur due to tackles or falls.
Rugby players are prone to ligament tears, particularly in the knee. The anterior cruciate (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) are frequently affected. These injuries can occur during sudden stops, changes in direction, or poor tackles. These injuries will usually require a significant period of rehabilitation and can put an end to a person’s rugby-playing days.
Contusions and bruising
Contusions, or bruises, are common in rugby due to impacts and collisions. They occur when blood vessels beneath the skin are damaged, resulting in discolouration, tenderness, and swelling.
Cuts and lacerations
Open wounds can occur from direct contact with other players or contact with sharp objects on the field, such as studs, broken glass or equipment. These injuries may require stitches or other forms of medical treatment and can result in scarring.
Rugby players are at risk of dental injuries, including broken teeth, tooth fractures, or damage to the jaw or gums. These injuries can result from impacts or accidental contact during play.
This list is not exhaustive, and the severity of injuries can vary and will determine the amount of rugby injury compensation you might receive if you make a successful claim.
Head and brain injuries caused by a rugby accident
Rugby is known for its high level of physical contact, aggressive play, and the potential for intense collisions and challenges between players. That makes rugby head injuries a significant concern for players. Such injuries include:
A concussion is a mild brain injury usually caused by a bang to the head or a sudden jolt to the body that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, noise of light sensitivity, and changes in mood or behaviour.
A skull fracture is a break or cracks in the bones that make the protective shell around the brain. It can be due to a severe impact or forceful blow to the head and range from minor hairline fractures to more severe breaks that pierce the skull and may cause damage to the underlying brain tissue. Symptoms include localised pain, tenderness, swelling and visible deformity.
Brain contusions in rugby occur when there is a direct impact or forceful blow to the head, leading to bruising or bleeding within the brain tissue. A brain contusion is a more severe injury compared to a concussion, as it involves actual damage to the brain. These can happen due to tackles, collisions, falls, or other incidents involving significant head trauma.
Symptoms of a brain contusion can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. They may include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea or vomiting, changes in vision, seizures, loss of consciousness, difficulty understanding or speaking, weakness or numbness in the limbs, or changes in behaviour or mood.
A brain hematoma refers to the collection of blood in or around the brain tissue, which can cause pressure and potentially lead to neurological complications. Subdural hematomas occur between the brain and the skull, while epidural hematomas occur between the outer protective layer of the brain and the skull. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, weakness or numbness in the limbs, changes in vision, seizures, or other neurological deficits.
Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)
A DAI is a severe form of rugby brain injury that can have significant long-term effects. It can result from violent tackles, collisions, or falls that cause the brain to rotate or move within the skull rapidly. This stretches and damages the axons, which are the long, slender fibres that transmit signals between brain cells. The widespread axonal damage disrupts the brain’s normal functioning and can result in long-lasting cognitive, physical, and behavioural impairment.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
CTE is a degenerative brain condition that can result from repeated head trauma, including concussions. It is characterised by the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain and can lead to cognitive decline, behavioural changes, and other neurological symptoms. CTE is primarily associated with long-term exposure to head injuries in sports such as rugby, American football and wrestling.
While some head injuries may resolve within days or weeks without medical intervention, others may have life-changing consequences. If you suffered an injury in a rugby accident caused by the negligence of a third party, you might be entitled to compensation for any resulting damages.
Time limits to claim rugby injury compensation
In the UK, there is a strict limitation period within which you must start legal proceedings for a rugby injury claim. The limitation period is the maximum amount of time you have to start claiming from the date of the injury or the date you became aware of it. After this, your case becomes statute-barred, and you will likely lose your claim for compensation.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit is typically three years from the date of the rugby accident. There are, however, several exceptions to this rule:
- If the injured person is a child, the three-year limitation period will not start to run until they reach the age of 18. Before that, a parent or legal guardian could seek compensation on their behalf anytime, regardless of when they were injured.
- If the claimant cannot handle a claim due to a disability caused by a severe rugby head injury or a pre-existing condition, the time limit is suspended. You could act as a litigation friend on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity at any time.
- If you suffered a rugby injury due to an assault, you could start a CICA claim within two years of the incident, provided you reported the assault to the police.
Generally, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining an injury in any type of accident. That will give them plenty of time to gather evidence for your claim and ensure that you and any witnesses will remember crucial details about the incident. It also ensures that your claim can be made within the applicable time limit.
How much compensation can I claim for a rugby injury?
Rugby injuries can affect individuals in different ways. Before starting a rugby injury claim, your solicitor will assess the type and extent of the damage you suffered and how this has affected various aspects of your life. These factors will determine how much compensation you will be entitled to following your rugby accident.
In every personal injury claim, you can recover two types of damages:
- General damages are intended to compensate for the pain and suffering you experienced. Some factors that will determine the value of general damages include the nature and severity of the injury, the impact on your daily life and future, and the duration of the recovery period. General damages are subjective and vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.
- Special damages compensate for the quantifiable financial losses incurred as a result of the injury. They are specific and measurable, making them easier to calculate based on evidence such as receipts, invoices and wage slips.
If your claim is successful, you could receive rugby injury compensation to cover:
- The physical pain and suffering caused by the rugby injuries
- The related emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment and amenities, such as the ability to pursue a hobby
- Loss of earnings and future earning capacity
- Medical costs for treatments, medication and rehabilitation
- Costs of care and assistance during recovery or if you suffered a permanent disability
- Travel-related costs, such as fuel and parking fees
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
According to the Judicial College guidelines, your compensation award may range from £240 for minor whiplash to £379,100 for a severe rugby-related brain injury. You can learn more about your compensation prospects by visiting our compensation calculator or using our online claim form to speak to a friendly legal adviser.
No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors for rugby injuries
If you sustained a rugby injury and believe that someone else was responsible for it, you might be able to secure compensation from the negligent party. If your solicitor believes you have a fair chance to make a successful claim, they will offer you a 100% no win no fee agreement.
Under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is the technical name for no win no fee, you do not have to pay any upfront fees. You will only pay a success fee if you receive rugby injury compensation. The success fee is determined from the outset and cannot exceed 25% of your settlement. If your case is unsuccessful, you will not be responsible for paying them a single penny.
If they agree to take on your case under a no win no fee agreement, your solicitor will manage everything from start to finish. They will review your case thoroughly with you, help you collect evidence and handle all communication on your behalf. So you can sit back and focus on your recovery.
After the Event (ATE) insurance is essential in no win no fee claims. The ATE policy is a legal expenses insurance that covers all the legal charges and expenses that you would be liable for if your case was lost, including:
- The defendant’s solicitor fees
- Court and counsel fees
- Police and medical reports
- The cost of hiring expert witnesses
- Barrister fees if your claim goes to court
If you make a no win no fee rugby injury claim, you only have to pay anything if you win. You will keep the compensation awarded to you minus the success fee paid to your solicitor and the cost of the ATE premium. If you lose, you will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses.