Organized and recreational sports are one of the most popular pastimes for children and teenagers. A sprained ankle or broken bone might be an expected part of a sporting event, but few parents think their child’s life could be in danger by going to a soccer game or swim meet. Yet, dozens of people die and hundreds sustain injuries in sporting accidents each year.
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If your child suffered an injury or died in a sports-related accident and you believe that negligence contributed to the accident, contact The Law Offices of J.G. Winter. Our California sports injury lawyer has represented injury victims in Sacramento and throughout California and will seek justice on you and your child’s behalf.
When Can I Sue a School District or Athletic Organization over a Sports Injury in California?
You might be able to sue a school district or athletic organization when you or your child sustains an injury beyond the inherent risk of the sport. Inherent risks will vary by sport and may include:
- Injuries from a false start
- Collapsing from exercise during practice if you did not drink enough water
- A ball hitting a player on the field when they are not paying attention
- Sustaining a sprained ankle from a soccer game
- Hitting your head during a cheerleading routine
Conversely, schools and athletic leagues may be responsible for accidents that are not inherent to the sport. When these injuries occur, you should speak to a California injury attorney.
Causes of Sports Injuries in California That May Allow You to Sue
From dangerous property conditions to a lack of sufficient coach training, there are many ways children can sustain injuries during a sporting event. Depending on how the accident occurred, there could be multiple parties responsible for your child’s injuries. For example, if your child participates in school sport, a coach or the school district may be liable. Otherwise, your kid may play a sport for your local community. In that case, sports organizers might be responsible for injuries.
Some common causes of sporting injuries that may be grounds for a lawsuit include the following.
- Negligent coaching: Coaches have a reasonable duty of care to keep their players safe. When they breach this duty, an accident may occur. Coaching negligence may include using alcohol or drugs during games or practice, abusing players, or having players engage in unreasonable exercises.
- Defective or dangerous products: Under California law, multiple parties may be responsible for defective or dangerous products. Manufacturers, designers, distributors, and stores may be liable. Additionally, coaches, school districts, or community leagues may be responsible for knowingly purchasing or using defective or dangerous sporting equipment.
- Failure to address hazards: Before a practice or game, someone should examine the field, court, or playing area. What looks like an injury caused by a legal tackle may have been caused by a poorly maintained field. One example is a 14-year-old basketball player impaled by a piece of wood from the court. Had someone properly examined the playing area, the player may have avoided the accident.
- Playing in dangerous weather conditions: Schools and athletic organizations are under obligation to take precautionary measures to protect athletes from weather conditions, such as lightning. Open fields, such as baseball, football, and soccer fields, are magnets for lightning strikes.
- Failure to recognize heat exhaustion: Too many people ignore or do not recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as heavy sweating, pale skin, and vomiting. Coaches who ignore these signs may be responsible for serious injuries a child might sustain, including shock, brain damage, or death. Similarly, school districts or communities that do not provide proper training to recognize these symptoms may also be liable.
Injuries Resulting from Sports Accidents
Due to the intense physical nature of most sports, athletes are more prone to minor and significant injuries than others. These injuries may be traumatic and might take months or even years to show symptoms. Some of the most common injuries resulting from sports accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Muscle strains or sprains
- Broken bones
- Shoulder, neck, or back injuries
- ACL strains or tears
- Hamstring strains
- Joint problems
These injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical bills, and some may leave an athlete permanently disabled.
What Compensation May I Receive for My Sports Injuries?
The compensation you can receive for your injuries will depend on various factors, such as the extent and severity of your injuries. Ultimately, you will need an experienced California sports injury lawyer to thoroughly investigate your accident and what led up to it to understand what compensation you may be eligible to receive.
Economic Damages for a Sports Injury
Economic damages in a personal injury case are the actual financial losses you endured because of your injuries. They include all of the monetary losses associated with the injury, such as medical bills, physical therapy costs, lost wages, or property damage. To obtain the total amount, you must save all bills and receipts. Your attorney can then use that information when pursuing economic damages from the responsible party’s insurance.
Non-Economic Damages for a Sports Injury
Conversely, non-economic damages compensate for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of activities, or worsening of prior injuries. These damages are more challenging to calculate since there is no monetary amount.
Attorneys may use the multiplier method. They multiply your economic damages by a number between one and five. One is the least severe, while five is the most severe. For example, say you have $3,000 in medical bills and damages from a broken arm. An attorney may assign that a three in severity and seek $9,000 in non-economic damages.
How a California Sports Injury Attorney Can Help You
A California sports injury attorney can help you determine whether you have a case. Remember, just because you sustained injuries does not mean you are entitled to compensation. Your attorney must prove that the other party—the school district, coaching staff, or athletic organization—acted negligently. Sports injuries also add another level of complications. Your lawyer must also prove that your injuries were not an inherent risk of the sport.
A lawyer can investigate the accident by interviewing witnesses and examining evidence to prove fault and liability. They also know how to handle negotiations with insurers, which will employ tactics that may deny or reduce your claim. If necessary, a California sports injury lawyer will take your case to trial and represent you.
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Skilled Sports Injury Attorneys in California That Will Fight for You
If you, your child, or someone you know sustained injuries from a sporting accident, contact Attorney Jeremey Winter of The Law Offices of J.G. Winter. It is crucial to remember you only have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit in California. The sooner you contact Attorney Winter, the more help he can be. To schedule a free consultation, call (844) 734-2626 or complete our contact form.
If you or someone you love suffered a sports injury, you might be entitled to financial compensation. When you partner with Attorney Jeremy Winter, you will receive personalized services throughout the entirety of your case. He’s a fierce advocate who will aggressively pursue your claim until you receive a favorable outcome.
We have a proven track record of obtaining millions of dollars for our clients in settlement, and we pride ourselves in receiving positive recognition from our former clients. To speak with an accomplished California attorney about your claim, call (844) 734-2626 or complete a contact form.
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