What to Do When Your Child Is Injured in Competitive Sports
As many as three out of every four families with school-aged children have at least one child that competes in an organized sport. For the overwhelming majority of parents and children who participate, their experience is great. However, this is not the case for every family. There are a number of children who get injured while competing. As a parent, knowing what to do is important.
After ensuring your child is okay, the next question you want answered is determining who exactly is at fault. While going through this difficult situation, it would be far less stressful if this question could be answered in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, this is most often not the case. Here are just some of the factors that must be considered to determine who is at fault.
Facilities: When it comes to facilities and assuming fault, the main question you need to answer is whether the area was up to par. For instance, a football field that is full of small holes would not be considered up to par, as the holes create a hazard for the children to easily slip and injure themselves. Keep in mind, it is the sole responsibility of the organization sponsoring the sport to ensure children are playing in a safe environment.
Gear: It's also important to consider the condition of the gear, this is especially the case if a problem with the gear is to blame for the injury. For example, if a child suffers a head injury because their helmet did not fit properly, the sponsoring organization could be at fault. It's also important to note that the manufacturer of the gear could also be considered liable if the gear has been properly maintained, but is not performing correctly.
Supervision: In addition to providing proper facilities and gear, it is also the responsibility of the sponsoring organization to provide adequate supervision. If they don't, they could be found liable for your child's injuries. An example of poor supervision could be a child that is practicing on a balance beam without a spotter nearby. Since the goal of the spotter is to protect the child, their absence could be the reason for the injures.
Assumption of Risk
As if things weren't stressful enough, you also have to factor in an assumption of risk. Many competitive sporting programs will require parents to sign this assumption of risk form. In short, this form basically absolves the organization of any injuries a child sustains, even if they are in part to blame. It's important to note that this does not mean you can't still file a claim, but it does mean that your road will be more difficult.
If your child has been injured, it's a good idea to speak with an attorney. An attorney through law firms like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm can will analyze the species of your case to help you determine how to move forward.