Organized youth sports can be valuable to the children that participate in them. Children learn dedication and teamwork as well as benefiting from physical activity and exercise. Unfortunately, young athletes can suffer injuries while participating in practice or games. Many times the injury is accidental – a foreseeable consequence of engaging in strenuous physical activity. However, other times the injury is the result of negligence on the part of another participant, a coach, or the manager of the facility where the activity took place.
Our experienced Maryland sports league injury attorneys are committed to providing families with young, injured athletes diligent representation. Our lawyers offer free legal consultations to help our clients understand their options and how much their case might be worth. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule your free case consultation.
Types of Injuries in Children’s Sports Leagues in Maryland
Young athletes participating in youth sports leagues can be injured for many reasons. Team sports such as football, basketball, and soccer have a higher risk of injury due to physical contact with other players. However, children playing individual sports like tennis are also often subject to injuries in the course of either playing or practicing. The following are types of injuries that could affect young athletes:
- Knee injuries
- Muscle pulls, sprains, or strains
- Joint damage
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Twisted and sprained ankles
- “Tennis elbow”
- Other tendon injuries
- Pulled hamstrings
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spine injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
How Waivers and Release Forms Affect Injury Lawsuits for Children’s Sports in Maryland
Before participating in nearly any athletic youth sports program, a child’s parent must sign a consent or waiver form. The form will state that the parent and child are aware of the inherent risks involved in participating in the particular sport. These consent forms are sometimes a barrier when trying to file a personal injury lawsuit, as these waivers might release the league from liability. Recreational leagues, city facilities, and schools use these forms to protect themselves from lawsuits should a youth participant suffer an injury while playing or practicing.
However, consent and waiver forms do not present a complete wall of protection from liability for negligent conduct. When your child suffers an injury from conduct outside the normal scope of the sport, negligent supervision, or intentional injury, you might be able to file a lawsuit if that conduct was not covered by a valid waiver.
Holding Coaches Liable for Injuries in Maryland Youth Sports Leagues
Families of child athletes trust their children’s coaches to develop their physical skills and teach them the value of sportsmanship while providing a safe environment for them to build these skills. Coaches left in charge of a child often have a duty to act “in loco parentis” or “in place of the parent,” which means a coach has a responsibility to protect and supervise the child. Depending on how a coach approaches this task, it might be possible for coaches or instructors to be held liable for some sports injuries.
A coach’s actions or decisions could lead to an injury in cases where they encouraged players to play more aggressively than is reasonable. Alternatively, ignoring the actual rules of the game could lead a coach to recklessly endanger the health and safety of the children participating in games and practices under their supervision.
Excessive physical strain on the body could also lead to an injury or a more severe medical condition. If a coach pushes a young athlete beyond their physical capabilities or ignores a known injury, the coach might be held responsible for any harm the child suffers. Furthermore, if your child experiences a medical emergency and the coach fails to respond appropriately, the coach should be held liable for any additional injuries your child sustains.
Other People Responsible for Injuries in Kids’ Sports in Maryland
Other players could also hurt your child. While most injuries are the result of accidental contact, if another player acts aggressively or harms your child outside of the rules of the game, you might be entitled to sue the other player directly.
The facility where the activity takes place could also contribute to causing your child’s injury. Known hazards in the field of play could endanger your child. For instance, your child could easily run into a piece of equipment that was negligently left in a dangerous spot, leading to a broken bone or severe cut in a trip and fall injury. Additionally, a poorly maintained field could have holes or divots that could catch players and cause twisted ankles.
Defective or poorly maintained equipment could also directly cause a child’s sports injury. A poorly manufactured helmet could lead to a serious neck or head injury, while a pair of defective cleats could result in a severe foot or ankle injury. When assessing the type and cause of your child’s injury, our experienced Maryland children’s sports league injury lawyers will carefully analyze all the facts of the incident to determine what parties should be held accountable.
Call Our Maryland Sports League Injury Attorney for a Free Case Consultation
Parents across the State of Maryland understand the value of having their children participate in team and individual sports. They also know there is an inherent risk of injury when engaging in any physical activity. However, when a young athlete’s injury is directly caused by the negligent conduct of another trusted adult or fellow participant, the family and injured child should be compensated for their pain and suffering. Our experienced Maryland sports league injury attorneys will diligently represent you and your child’s legal interests. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.