There is always some risk of injury while playing any kind of sport. However, many sports injuries could be avoided by having appropriate health and safety measures in place. If an accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to make a sports injury claim and receive compensation for your injuries.
Some of the most common causes of accidents include faulty equipment, dangerous ground conditions, inadequate training and deliberate assaults. A preventable accident could entitle you to receive sport injury compensation for your pain, suffering and related financial losses and expenses.
Sports injuries include cuts and lacerations, strains, sprains, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries, and can even be fatal. With sports accidents, it is often challenging to prove that you have been injured through no fault of your own, so you should contact an experienced solicitor who can help establish negligence.
Usually, you should be able to claim for compensation even if you signed a waiver. While waivers state the potential risks of participating in a sport, they do not provide any legal defence against negligence claims.
If you feel you may have a valid sport injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. If your case has merit, they will offer you a no win no fee service, so you can pursue compensation with no upfront costs and without taking any financial risks.
Can I make a sports injury claim?
Whether you participate in a sporting event or are training at your local gym, the owner or organiser of the event must take all reasonable measures to keep you as safe as possible. If they fail in their duty of care and you suffer a sports injury, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages.
The most straightforward way to find out if you have a valid sports injury claim is by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a trained legal adviser. They will ask you some questions about your accident and gather relevant evidence to show that:
- Another party who owed you a duty of care acted negligently
- An accident occurred due to their negligence
- You sustained a preventable sports injury as a result
Proving these aspects can be tricky, but there are several steps you should try to take to support your sport injury claim. Depending on the type of accident and circumstances, this could include the following:
- Take photos of the accident location, capturing what you believe caused your injury.
- Take photographs of your injuries and keep a photographic record of your recovery process.
- Get contact details for any witnesses that might be able to provide a statement about how your accident occurred.
- If the event was recorded on a phone or a camera, try to secure a copy of the footage.
- If you believe a crime has taken place, immediately report the incident to the police.
- Where relevant, report the accident to sports officials or the person in charge and make sure they record it in an accident log book.
- Have your injuries assessed and treated by a healthcare professional, as your medical records will serve as valuable proof of the harm you have suffered.
- Keep a diary of how the sports injury affected your daily life and any costs and expenses linked to the accident.
Even if you feel you have little to no evidence related to the accident, your solicitor will work hard to gather everything needed to build a strong sports injury compensation claim.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details to receive a call back. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a sports injury claim and answer any questions you may have.
How do I make a sports injury compensation claim?
If you want to claim compensation for a personal injury you incurred while playing a sport, you should get advice from an experienced solicitor. It is essential to do this as soon as possible after your accident, as there are strict time limits when it comes to taking legal action for personal injury.
Also, the sooner you contact a solicitor, the easier it is to gather detailed evidence to support your sports injury claim. The claiming process will usually take the following steps:
- Your priority is to take care of yourself and seek medical attention for your injury. Depending on the severity of your accident, you should go to the A&E or your GP as soon as possible. Medical and diagnostic reports, including any treatments you received and recovery prospects, are essential evidence that your solicitor will use to support your sports injury claim.
- Another essential step in the claims process is to report the accident to the relevant party or authority. This could be sports officials, the gym or sports facility owner, the event’s operator or the police if you were the victim of a violent crime. They are obliged to record the incident, which will serve as proof of the date, time and location where you were injured.
- If you want to claim sport injury compensation, you should seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor. They will listen to the circumstances of your accident and what you have been through and let you know if your case has merit. If you decide to go ahead with your claim, your solicitor will offer help and support throughout the claims process.
- To build a strong case, you should keep a record of your injuries, how they affected your life and all the financial losses and expenses related to the accident. Your solicitor will help you gather other relevant evidence to help support your sports injury claim, such as witness statements or a second medical report from an independent doctor.
- As part of your claim, your solicitor will also ensure you get all the necessary medical treatment for your injuries. This may involve arranging for medical care and rehabilitation that is not always available through the NHS. If you suffered a severe injury, they may also schedule a needs assessment to determine the long-term or permanent necessities you could claim compensation for.
- Once you have all the evidence, your solicitor will send a letter of claim to the other side. They will have 21 days to acknowledge your allegations of negligence and another three months to give you a letter of response. They may also request that a medical expert assess your injuries during this time.
- While waiting to hear back from the defendant, your solicitor will work out a proposed settlement amount. They will consider the type and extent of your injuries, your financial expenses, and how your accident affected your daily life.
- If the other side admits liability, your solicitor will try to negotiate the maximum amount of sports injury compensation you could get. If they deny responsibility for your accident, your solicitor will have to issue court proceedings. Negotiations will continue until the trial date, and it is unlikely you will have to argue your claim before a judge. Less than 5% of personal injury claims are settled in court.
- Once your claim settles, you should receive your sports injury compensation within four weeks. If you need money to cover your expenses before the claim settles and there is no liability dispute, it may be possible for your solicitor to arrange for you to receive interim payments.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a sports injury claim and can answer any questions you may have about the process.
What are the most common causes of sport injuries?
If you were injured during a sporting activity without being at fault, you might be able to make a sports injury claim. Sports injuries can happen for a variety of different reasons, including:
- Not providing adequate protective equipment
- Not providing adequate supervision
- Faulty equipment, such as gym weights or exercise machines
- Inadequate training or instructions
- The lack of proper safety procedures
- Inadequate training schedules
- Reckless or illegal tackles
- Failure by an official in control to take all reasonable steps to prevent an accident
- Dangerous ground conditions
- Poorly maintained gyms, venues or stadiums
- Getting bad advice from a trainer or coach
- Deliberate and dangerous conduct or assault by another athlete, player or spectator
- Dangerous and unplayable pitches
- Misdiagnosis or poor treatment that made a sports injury worse
This list is not exhaustive, and every accident may have unique circumstances. An experienced solicitor can help you gather evidence and establish negligence if you believe your injury was someone else’s fault.
Participants in contact sports such as football, boxing or rugby are at greater risk of injury than those practising non-contact sports such as golf or tennis. Not all sports injuries are sudden, such as trauma caused by a fall or collision. Some injuries, such as tendonitis, can build up over time due to overuse and inadequate training.
You do not have to be a professional player to qualify for sport injury compensation. As long as you can prove that your sports injury was due to someone else’s negligence, you should be eligible to make a claim.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back. They can let you know if your case has merit and can answer any questions you may have.
Who could be liable for a sport injury claim?
If you suffered a sports injury without being at fault, your solicitor would assess all the available evidence to work out the liable party. Depending on the accident circumstances, your sports injury claim could be against:
- Another athlete or player that caused you an injury by acting recklessly or aggressively
- A resort operator that did not have proper safety precautions in place
- Your employer, if, for example, you suffered an injury at work while coaching
- A medical professional, if you received poor care or treatment for a sports injury
- An equipment manufacturer or supplier if your injury was due to a defective product
- The owner of a sports ground or facility that failed to keep the premises safe
- The organiser of a sporting event for failing to have proper safety procedures in place
- A match official who failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent an accident
- A spectator that committed a violent crime against you
- A school or teacher, if your child suffered a sports injury during PE at school
- The local council, if you had an accident at a council-owned public facility
- A tour operator, if you were injured during a holiday activity that they arranged
You might even be eligible to make a claim if you were partially to blame for your sports injury, as long as someone else also played a part in the accident. If the court determines that you were less than 51% liable for your accident, you might still receive a reduced compensation award that reflects your part of the blame.
Injuries can happen in almost any sport, but some of the most common types of sports injury claims include:
Horse riding injury claims
Horse riding can be a very dangerous sport, and equestrian accidents are common in the UK and often occur through nobody’s fault. These can result in broken bones, brain trauma and other life-changing injuries. If your trainer failed to follow the proper safety precautions or you received faulty riding equipment, you might be entitled to sport injury compensation.
Taking part in any type of motorsports, such as go-karting or motocross, has a serious element of danger. Motor collisions, such as car accidents and motorbike accidents, can result in severe debilitating injuries and could even be fatal. The most common causes of motorsport accidents include inadequate protective equipment, not providing adequate supervision and instructions, debris and defects on race tracks and not ensuring that the vehicles are in good working order.
Gym and sports centre accidents
People often get hurt at the gym or sports centres by over-exerting themselves or not training correctly. However, many accidents also happen due to the negligence of a trainer or facility owner. If the training staff did not provide proper instructions on how to use the equipment or you were injured due to poorly maintained premises, you might be able to make a sports injury claim against them.
Winter sports injuries
Winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and ice skating are popular holiday sports both in the UK and abroad. If your injury was due to faulty equipment, inadequate training, or any other reason that was not your fault, you might be entitled to compensation.
Football, rugby or other team sports accidents
Accidents during team sports are almost always part of the game, and as long as players act within the rules, they are considered acceptable. However, suffering an injury due to a reckless tackle, violent manoeuvres, retaliatory behaviour or negligent training may entitle you to make a claim.
If you feel you may have a valid sports injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will let you know if your case has merit and who could be liable for your accident.
Is there a time limit for making sports injury claims?
The standard time limit to start any personal injury claim is three years after an accident or after becoming aware of an injury caused by an accident. This is known as the claim limitation date, after which your case becomes statute-barred, and you are no longer eligible for compensation.
There are several exceptions to the three-year limitation date to make a sports injury claim that you should be aware of. For example:
- A litigation friend could make a claim on behalf of a child at any point before their 18th birthday, regardless of when the accident happened. Otherwise, once the child reaches 18, they have another three years to make their own sports injury claim.
- If the claimant has suffered a severe brain injury that has impaired their mental capacity, there is no time limit to claim on their behalf. If they recover their intellectual ability, they will have three years to claim compensation for their sports injury.
- If a loved one suffered a fatal injury while playing a sport, a close family member could make a compensation claim within three years from the date of their death.
- If you suffered a sports injury abroad, the time limit to make a claim may depend on the foreign country’s laws and could be as short as six months. In this case, it is especially important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible after your accident.
- If you were the victim of a violent assault during a sporting activity, you could potentially make a sport injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA requires that you begin your claim within two years of the incident and after reporting the occurrence to the police.
No matter how and where you were injured, the sooner you seek legal advice, the easier it is to gather evidence for your case and secure the compensation you deserve. Building a claim can be an extensive process, and most solicitors will not accept your case with less than six months to the limitation date, even if it has merit.
To start your sports injury claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. Or, if you prefer, enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
Can I still make a sport injury claim if I signed a waiver?
It is easy and relatively common to sustain an injury during a sporting activity. That is why many gyms and companies that organise events require participants to sign a waiver before taking part in a sport. This is a form of expressed consent to the risks involved due to the inherent nature of the sporting event.
A liability waiver is a legal document between you and the service provider. By signing a waiver, you legally agree you accept responsibility for any injuries you might sustain while on their premises or at an event.
Many people believe that if you sign a waiver, you are not later allowed to bring a sports injury claim, but this is not the case. Waivers do not absolve the other side from exercising a proper duty of care towards those who have signed it.
Therefore, you might still be entitled to compensation if your accident was due to faulty equipment, poorly maintained premises or other forms of negligence. On the other hand, if you signed a waiver and your injuries occurred as a result of the risks associated with the activity, your claim is unlikely to succeed.
How much compensation could I claim for a sports injury?
There is not a set compensation award for a sports injury. The amount of compensation you might receive if you win your claim depends on several factors, such as:
- The type and extent of your injuries
- How you were injured
- Whether you are partially to blame for your accident
- The financial losses and expenses you incurred
- Whether you also suffered psychological trauma
- The long-term or permanent effects of your injuries
To calculate a suitable compensation award, your solicitor will consider all the ways in which your sports injury affected your life. In every sport injury claim, you can recover two types of damages:
Special damages are awarded to compensate for the out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses you incurred as a direct result of your accident, including:
- Short-term medical expenses such as consultation fees, diagnostic tests and medication
- Long-term medical expenses such as physiotherapy and other medical treatments
- Transportation costs
- Costs of care and assistance if you need help with daily activities
- Medical devices such as mobility aids
- Adaptations to your home and vehicle
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
General damages are awarded to compensate for the direct physical and psychological effects of your accident, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Physical and mental impairment
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Decreased quality of life or life expectancy
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Inability to pursue a hobby
The Judicial College is a body of the Ministry of Justice which publishes compensation guidelines for general damages to serve as guidance for courts and solicitors. According to them, you could receive:
- £5,630 to £281,520 for arm injuries ranging from minor fractures to amputation
- Up to £76,690 for a knee injury causing permanent limitation or loss of movement
- £2,020 to £240,590 for leg injuries ranging from minor scarring to loss of both legs
- £9,000 to £132,000 for a foot injury, depending on the severity
- Up to £379,100 for a very severe brain injury leaving the victim in a vegetative state
- £2,300 to £104,370 for mild to very severe neck injuries such as fractures or spinal cord damage
- £1,960 to £151,070 for moderate to severe back injuries causing some degree of paralysis
- £3,950 to £100,670 for post-traumatic stress disorder
To start your claim or learn more about your sport injury compensation prospects, speak to a trained legal adviser today by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. Alternatively, please enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.