Who Is Liable for a Brain Injury Suffered in a Sports Accident?
A traumatic brain injury is one of the most life-changing events that can happen to an individual and their family, as victims of brain injuries often need medical and physical assistance throughout their lives and may be unable to earn the same income as they would otherwise. Brain injuries commonly occur as a result of blunt trauma to the head, and sporting events are a primary cause of head injuries, with statistics indicating that over 446,000 people went to emergency rooms in 2009 alone for sports-related head injuries. The sports most likely lead to head/brain injuries, in order, are: 1) cycling (85,000 ER visits; 2) football (46,000 ER visits); 3) baseball and softball (38,000 ER visits); 4) basketball (34,000 ER visits); 5) various water sports (28,000 ER visits).
When a serious head or brain injury occurs in a sports accident, the question then becomes, “Who is liable for the victim’s damages? Below are a few potential defendants that a personal injury attorney might consider pursuing action against.
Another Sporting Participant
In many sports, a participant is consenting to at least some physical contact from others. For example, in football, the understanding is that tackling is permitted. But when other participants are negligent, reckless, or even intentional in using force that is above and beyond what is reasonable physical contact (e.g. kicking another player in the head), or their actions cause another person to experience injury (e.g. placing a dangerous object on the field that leads to a fall), they can be liable.
The Coaches and Organizers (Schools, Leagues, etc.)
Coaches must act reasonably in overseeing sporting events and practices, as do the schools, leagues, and other organizations that oversee the sporting events. If a coach instructs a player to take an action that leads to a brain injury, he or she may be liable as would the coach’s employer under the theory of vicarious liability. Those organizing sporting events and leagues must also act reasonably and face liability if they do not and their actions lead to injuries.
Landowners / Property Owners
If a sports-related brain injury occurs due to a dangerous condition on the property, the owner of the property may also be liable for failing to take due care in preventing injury. For example, if an ice skating rink owner fails to perform proper maintenance of the rink to prevent falls, and a brain injury occurs as a result, the owner may be liable.
Equipment Manufacturers and Sellers
Sports-related brain injuries can also occur as a result of malfunctioning equipment, and, in such cases the manufacturers and sellers of the equipment may be liable if it can be shown that there was a defect in the equipment (e.g. a defective weight machine that collapses on someone).
If you have experienced a sports-related injury of any kind in New Jersey, contact the personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law to determine your options.
Talk to an Experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury in a sports accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law – with offices in New Jersey and New York – are here to help. We have won millions in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Our attorneys have built up a strong reputation for providing compassionate legal counsel to those who have suffered serious injury while aggressively and quickly taking all necessary legal action to recover for our clients to get their lives back to normal by winning compensation for all costs, losses, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your sports injury claim.