Millions of Americans regularly participate in sports, both as a form of exercise and simply for recreation. In fact, playing organized team sports is a very important part of childhood development for many people, and a substantial number of school-age children continue to participate in competitive sports through their late teens. Unfortunately, as with any type of physical activity, playing sports exposes participants to a significant risk of accidental injury, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Because of the significant complications that can often be associated with a TBI, it is important for anyone that has sustained one in the course of playing sports to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
TBIs and Sports: How They Occur
TBIs are a type of injury that occurs when a bump or blow to the head causes a disruption in the normal functioning of the brain. A concussion is the most common form of mild TBI. These kinds of injuries can happen during athletic competition in a number of ways, including striking the head on another object, a ball or other piece of game equipment, or even another participant. For this reason, they can occur during participation in any type of sport, but they tend to occur in sports in which there is a higher risk of physical contact, such as football, hockey, lacrosse, or soccer.
Assumption of Risk And Sports Injuries
Under a legal doctrine known as “assumption of risk,” individuals are barred from asserting legal claims when their injuries result from a known risk that they have voluntarily assumed. For example, assumption of the risk would likely bar a lawsuit from a football player that sustained an injury during a routine tackle or a hockey player that was hurt trying to block a slapshot from an opposing player. There are some circumstances under which a person injured during sports will be able to sue. These include the following:
- Intentional conduct – If an opposing player intentionally engages in conduct causes a TBI, the victim will likely be able to successfully assert a legal claim.
- Reckless conduct – In some cases, the reckless conduct of another participant that results in injury may be sufficient for a defendant to bring a claim. Generally, courts look to see whether the injury-causing conduct was the type of conduct that normally occurred with the game.
- Accidents caused by defective equipment – Individuals who sustain TBIs due to defective sports equipment, such as helmets, can often sustain a products liability claim against the manufacturer or retailer of the equipment.
Call a Baltimore or Washington D.C. Traumatic Brain Injury Law Firm to Determine Whether You Have a Legal Claim
Many people who sustain traumatic brain injuries while participating in sports can sustain significant financial compensation. For this reason, it is crucial for TBI victims to have their case reviewed by an attorney that has a track-record of success representing the legal rights of people injured in accidents related to sports. At Brain Injury Counsel, we are committed to helping each client we take obtain the full and fair value of their legal claim. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today.