Youth individual and team sports help young athletes develop a sense of commitment, sportsmanship, and comradery while reaping the benefits of physical activity. Unfortunately, even though the strenuous exercise associated with sports provides many health benefits, there are inherent risks of serious injury. Due to the nature of sports and the interaction between players, accidents leading to injuries occur. Often, the situations leading to severe injuries are not accidental; instead, they are caused by the negligence of another person, such as a coach or other participant.
Our experienced Baltimore sports league injury attorneys provide vigorous representation for families with young athletes who suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence. If your child was hurt while playing in a sports league, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Types of Injuries Children in Baltimore Sports Leagues Suffer
Injuries sustained while playing organized individual or team youth sports in the Baltimore area are not uncommon. Children competing in football, soccer, basketball, or other sports always risk twisting an ankle or colliding with another participant, possibly leading to head or neck injuries. When a coach’s or another player’s negligent conduct contributes to the accident, the seriousness of the injury could be worse.
Some common injuries that occur while engaging in youth sports include:
- Knee injuries
- Muscle pulls
- Dislocated shoulders
- Torn rotator cuffs
- High and low ankle sprains
- Fractured ankles
- Breakdown or tearing of ligaments in the elbow
- Pulled hamstrings
- Torn ACLs
- Broken bones or fractures
- Traumatic head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord or back injuries, in some extreme circumstances resulting in paralysis
Determining Liability for Injuries Sustained Playing Baltimore Youth Sports
Every sport has foreseen adverse consequences. For example, twisting an ankle is a common injury seen in basketball. Similarly, competing in a physical sport such as football could result in a concussion or other head injury. However, if the negligent conduct of another player, another coach, or another responsible adult is the direct cause of the injury, they should be held accountable for any harm your child suffered. Our Baltimore attorneys have the experience necessary to determine if your child’s injury was more than an accident.
When you sign your child up to participate in any sports program, you place your faith and trust in their team’s coach. Coaches have a special duty to protect children from undue harm in the place of their parents. If a coach fails to adhere to this duty, any injury that occurs could be a direct result of negligence, making the coach liable for any harm sustained.
One example where a coach could be held liable is when a young athlete suffers an injury due to forced overexertion. Any excessive physical strain on a young body can result in stress fractures or overheating and damage to the heart or lungs. If a coach pushes your child to the point where they pass out or suffer a severe muscle tear, you and your family could be entitled to compensation for any damage your child sustained. Similarly, if an injury occurs during practice or a game, the coach could be held liable for failing to provide appropriate medical attention for the injured player.
A coach is also supposed to properly instruct your child to play a sport. Showing a child how to conduct themselves within the rules of the game is essential to their safety. If a coach encourages behavior that is outside the rules of the game, such as over-aggressive play, injuries could occur. Often, the cause is not your child’s coach, but the coach of the opposing team who instructed their players to ignore the game rules. When adults encourage children to play in an aggressive and unsafe manner, they should be held liable for any injuries sustained.
There are times another player will act in such a manner that will put other child athletes at risk. A dangerous or late hit in a game of football, or a physical attack instead of a foul in basketball, could lead to a severe injury. The behavior might not be attributable to coaching and is only the aggressive and excessively violent conduct of another participant. While a minor cannot be held liable, their parents could be held responsible for compensating for any injury sustained.
The field or gym where your child participates in both practice and games should be a safe environment. The condition or level of maintenance of a sports facility or recreation center could contribute to the injury of a child athlete. Poorly maintained fields or gyms could present several unseen hazards that could hurt an unsuspecting child. For instance, known holes on a football field or loose floorboards on a basketball court could present a danger to all participants. If these issues where known and left unaddressed, a facility manager or the owner of the premises could be held liable for any harm or damage incurred.
Often, defective equipment directly causes an injury. A poorly manufactured helmet might lead to head trauma or a neck injury. The equipment your child uses should be appropriately maintained. Several parties could share liability for equipment-related harm. For example, knowingly providing broken equipment to your child could lead to their coach being held accountable. If a school or recreational facility provided the sports equipment, then they could be held liable for any known defects. In many instances, the equipment might have a design flaw or manufacturing defect, making the company that manufactures the equipment responsible for any harm their equipment caused.
Baltimore Youth Sports League Waiver or Consent Form Requirements
When you sign your child up for any sports team, you will be required to sign a consent or waiver of rights form, acknowledging that the activity presents a risk of injury and that you will not hold the league responsible. While these forms will prohibit lawsuits for accidental injuries, they do not protect individuals or facilities that negligently endanger your child. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys will carefully examine any consent or waiver form to determine if the terms of the agreement limit your options.
Call Our Baltimore Sports League Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
Baltimore parents value the benefits of having their children participate in individual and team sports. However, if your child is injured due to the negligent conduct of their coach or another player, your child and your family should be compensated for any harm or suffering. Our experienced Baltimore sports league injury attorneys will diligently represent you and your child’s legal interests. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.