A sports injury is any type of injury which is sustained by an individual who is participating in a sporting event. Sports injuries can generally be categorized as either injuries which are caused by traumatic impact or those which are caused by the overuse of a certain body part.
An amateur sport is an organized sport that typically involves participants of low to medium skill levels. These types of sports are commonly funded or sponsored by an organization.
In some cases, they will involve compensation between the participants. Examples of amateur sports often involve team sports, for example:
- Hockey; or
Amateur sports may also include competitive individual sports, for example, boxing or karate. Amature sports injuries constitute a large portion of sports injuries, in addition to sports injury legal claims.
What are Amateur Sports Injuries?
An amature sport, as noted above, is a sport which usually involves participants who have a low to medium skill level. Amateur sports injuries can result from the participation in these types of activities.
Because of this, many amature sports leagues require the participants to sign liability waivers. These waivers release the league from liability for typical or normal injuries which may occur during a competition or training.
There are, however, certain instances where a party may be held liable for an amateur sports injury.
What are Some Examples of Sports Injuries?
The majority of sports injury claims consist of traumatic injuries as opposed to overuse types of injuries. This is because an individual cannot expect to hold another individual liable for injuries which occur due to overexertion over a period of time.
If, however, a sport’s participant causes an injury to another participant, it can form the basis of a civil lawsuit. Sports law governs legal issues which involve both amateur and professional sports.
Sports law claims commonly overlap with:
- Labor law;
- Contract law;
- Antitrust law; and
- Tort law.
Examples of some of the most common sports injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones;
- Head injuries;
- Hip flexor strains;
- Hamstring strains;
- ACL strains or tears;
- Pulled muscles, especially groin pulls;
- Shin splints;
- Tennis elbow or golf elbow, which is caused by the overuse of forearm tendons; or
- Shoulder and knee injuries.
What are Winter Sports?
A winter sport is a sport which typically involves snow and ice. Winter sports are more common during the winter months when bodies of water freeze over and the snow falls.
Winter sports, however, may be popular year-round. Examples of popular winter sports include:
- Various types of skiing sports, such as slalom skiing and ski jumping;
- Various types of ice skating sports, such as figure skating, and speed skating;
- Sledding and dog sledding;
- Snow hiking;
- Ice hockey;
- Snowmobiling; and
- Many other types of sports.
What are Some Common Winter Sport Injuries?
Similar to any other type of sport, a sports injury can occur when an individual is participating in a winter sport. There are numerous types of injuries which are unique to winter sports because of the involvement of snow, ice, and related equipment.
Common winter sports injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Injuries from falls, especially broken bones;
- Muscle sprains and strains, especially knee injuries;
- Concussions and other injuries resulting from contact sports, such as hockey;
- Back, neck, spine, and head injuries; and
- Hypothermia and other similar conditions resulting from exposure to cold weather.
Certain more extreme winter sports, such as snowboarding and ski jumping, may involve very serious injuries due to falls from an extremely high heigh or a collision at a high speed.
Are There any Legal Issues Associated with Winter Sport Injuries?
Winter sports injuries commonly involve various types of legal issues. For example, the liability for a winter sport injury may result from:
- Dangerous premises;
- Product liability, for instance, a defective snowboard;
- Negligence or recklessness of other sport participants; or
- Intentional acts that cause injury.
These types of issues may require legal action in order to provide the injured individual with a remedy. In the majority of cases, this will include a monetary damages awarded to compensate them for various expenses.
Who May be Held Liable for an Amateur Sports Injury?
Some common examples when a party may be held liable for an amateur sports injury include:
- Negligence by a participant or coach, for example, if a coach ignores signs of injury or dehydration and continues to require participation;
- Unwarranted sports violence by an opposing participant;
- Injuries resulting from a product failure, for example, malfunctioning climbing gear or defective sports equipment, especially heavy weights or padding; and
- Gym liability for dangerous training premises.
As discussed above, amateur sports injuries may be varied in nature. Because of those, liability for these types of injuries may also involve a number of parties or factors.
Are There any Legal Remedies for Amateur Sports?
In many cases, an amateur sport injury results in an injury lawsuit. In cases where liability for an amateur sports injury can be proven, the liable party may be required to pay a monetary damages award to the injured party or parties.
Damages awards usually cover the costs which are directly related to the injury, for example:
- Hospital bills;
- Medical expenses;
- Surgery costs; and
- Other financial expenses.
Other related costs may, in some cases, be covered, for example, lost wages or the loss of the ability to earn income. Regulations and limits on damages awards can vary by state.
What is the Assumption of Risk Doctrine?
The assumption of risk doctrine provides that individuals who participate voluntarily in a sport activity will not be able to hold others liable for their injuries if those injuries occurred during a game or while participating in the sport or activity. A co-participant cannot be held liable for injuries because when the individual decided to participate, they voluntarily assumed the risk of possibility of being injured by the other participants.
The doctrine of assumption of the risk is often used as a defense in personal injury and negligence lawsuits. If a plaintiff has assumed such a risk, they will not be able to recover damages for any harm resulting from the defendant’s conduct.
This applies even if the defendant was negligent or reckless and clearly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In order to prove the assumption of the risk doctrine, a defendant is required to show that the plaintiff had actual knowledge of the risks involved in the activity.
In the context of sports injury lawsuits, a defendant would be required to show that the injured party was aware of the potential injuries associated with the sport in which they are participating.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Winter Sport Injury Claim?
In many cases, winter sports injuries are serious and may require legal action. Amateur sports injuries may even lead to permanent damage.
It may be helpful for you to consult with a personal injury lawyer if you have any issues, questions, or concerns related to a winter sports injury. Your lawyer can advise you regarding the laws in your state and the possible compensation for your injuries.
If you are required to file a claim or to appear in court, your lawyer will assist you and represent you during those appearances.