All sport carries an element of risk. However, just because you have chosen to participate in a physical activity does not necessarily mean that you can expect to be seriously injured. Usually, if the correct rules and procedures are followed, harm will be avoided. 

If you have been injured while playing sport, exercising at the gym, or even while spectating, do not hesitate to contact us for advice. There are times when injuries are simply bad luck – it’s just the nature of the game. But there are also times when negligence is a factor.  

For a free, no obligation enquiry, call us on 0800 024 1400 or fill out our free online enquiry form.

We have different funding options available. Most of our sports accident claims are handled on a no win, no fee basis.

Sports accident claims

Sports injuries are common. In many cases, they are genuine accidents. It is just part and parcel of playing a physical game. At other times, it can be clear that an injury could have been avoided, if the proper rules or safety measures had been observed. 

For example, if a footballer is injured because of a careless tackle, it could be difficult to establish liability. But if the injury is caused by reckless or deliberate behaviour, following a flagrant violation of the law, there could be grounds for an injury claim. 

Sport accident claims can be made by professional athletes, amateur players, gym goers and even spectators. Some of the most common causes of sports accident claims include

  • Players or participants who breach the rules and inflict injuries through reckless, deliberate behaviour
  • Poor coaching
  • Poor refereeing or a referee failing to properly enforce the rules 
  • Poorly maintained playing fields or equipment
  • Poorly maintained grounds and stadiums
  • Poorly organised events 
  • Violent behaviour

Contact sports

In contact sports, injuries are sometimes caused by opponents. How many footballers have had cruciate ligaments damaged by hard tackles? How many rugby players have had ribs broken by opponents driving them backwards in an extremely violent manner? How many boxers have been deliberately knocked unconscious?

These injuries occur in sporting contests up and down the country every weekend. The overwhelming majority of these injuries occur within the rules of the game. By volunteering to take part, a player takes it upon himself to accept the risk of incidental injuries.

What happens, however, when the injury arises from a savage blow out of all proportion to the occasion? What of the footballer who suffers a fractured leg caused by a vicious two footed very late tackle? The rugby player with a broken jaw after being punched by an opponent on the blind side of the referee? The boxer knocked out by a blow delivered well after the bell whilst walking back to his corner?

Some injuries are inflicted outside of the rules of the game as a result of careless, reckless or deliberate acts. The actions might even be contrary to criminal law. 

In many cases it will not be clear what has happened and whether the rules have been complied with. Each incident must be examined carefully to decide what the prospects of a successful claim are. Match officials, spectators and team members may have to be interviewed. Any video or film must be preserved and analysed.

Non-contact sports

What about injuries suffered in games or activities where there is no physical contact between players? There are many sports where the participants accept a high level of risk of injury. Golf, for example, produces the highest ball speed of any ball sports. Anyone struck by a golf ball is at risk of serious injury. 

Again, in these cases it is necessary to assess the circumstances of the actual accident. If  someone was struck by a golf ball because the organisers of a tournament placed the spectators in a dangerous position, the organisers could potentially be negligent. 

If an injury is sustained at the gym, we can investigate whether the equipment was sufficiently maintained and the proper safety procedures followed. If not, there could be grounds for a personal injury claim. 

Injuries caused by referees and coaches

Injuries can also be caused by poor coaching and refereeing. Both coaches and referees owe the players a duty of care. For coaches, this might mean not selecting a player who has suffered a head injury in training, as any further blows could be dangerous. For referees, it means taking action to prevent foreseeable injuries.

Poor maintenance and organisation

The organisers of sporting events and owners of sports grounds have to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of spectators and players. Spectators have the same legal rights as anyone visiting a building such as a shop, garage or school. 

In other words, a person’s health and safety should be protected. You should not suffer harm due to overcrowding, unsafe structures, unsafe processes or unprovoked violence. 

Make a free enquiry

To find out if you can make a sports accident claim, contact us at Serious Accident Solicitors Ltd for advice. Every case is different. We can assess whether anyone is likely to be held at fault for causing your injuries. If so, we can pursue a personal injury claim for you, getting you compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses. We can also help you access the best rehabilitation and treatment available. 

We have different funding options available. Most of our sports accident claims are handled on a no win, no fee basis. 

For a free, no obligation enquiry, call us on 0800 024 1400 or fill out our free online enquiry form.