Back-To-School Time Brings Sports Injuries
With the school year back in full swing, parents of student-athletes need to take certain safety precautions and prepare for any potential sports injuries. Each year, more than 1.3 million students will suffer a sports-related injury severe enough to send them to a hospital emergency room. When studies include school-related recreation injuries, that number doubles, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This data shows that clearly, the risk of school sports-related injuries is significant. What parents can do about such injuries, especially after the fact, is less clear.
Schools Have the Upper Hand When It Comes to Sports Injuries
Participation in school-sponsored sports brings with it a certain amount of assumption regarding the risk involved. Injuries arise daily out of the course of play, even in non-contact sports, and are simply a risk of taking part in school sports activities. Injuries happen in all sports, and often it is simply no one’s fault.
Further still, student-athletes often are required to sign waivers that absolve the school of liability in the event of an injury suffered by the student participating in a school-sponsored sport. While such waivers are not bullet-proof, they present a formidable obstacle to holding a school liable for sports injuries, particularly when the injury is of the sort that commonly arises simply from participation in the sport.
Student-Athletes and Parents May Still Have Options
There are circumstances where a student-athlete may be able to recover damages for an injury even if there is a waiver in place. For example, a student-athlete might be able to recover damages from the school sports organizations, the school itself, the school district, or the coaches if there is negligence, illegal activity, or improper violence on the part of other players. Negligence could include such things as:
- Improperly using or maintaining protective equipment, or lacking such protective equipment
- Not giving injured players enough time to recover
- Ignoring signs of injury or trauma
- Not implementing safety procedures during games or practice
What Should Parents of Student-Athletes Do in the Event of an Injury?
If a child is injured while participating in school-sponsored sports, parents who believe the injury rises above the sort that is normally expected during the ordinary course of the sport should take steps to safeguard their rights. These steps include:
- Determining whether the school or team has safety protocols for practice and documents whether it follows those protocols
- Determining whether there is video of the injury-causing incident
- Getting a full medical report on the injury
Call Polito & Harrington LLC to Discuss Your Options
Finally, New London area residents should consult with the attorneys at Polito & Harrington LLC to find out if they might have options to recover compensation from liable parties. The attorneys at Polito & Harrington can help determine whether recovery for a student-athlete sports injury might be available from other parties. Parents can contact the personal injury lawyers of Polito & Harrington at (860) 447-3300.