Many children excitedly start playing team sports as they head back to school. Although team sports offer myriad social, psychological and physical benefits, they also put children and teens at risk for sports-related injuries. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million kids and teens are treated for sports-related injuries every year.
Here are the basic facts you need to know about personal injuries and your young athlete.
Situations Where You May File a Claim
When you put your kids in sports, you are generally expected to know that certain risks are inevitable. You may not be able to hold anyone else liable if your kids get hurt while playing team sports in many situations. You and your kids are expected to know the assumed risk associated with playing sports, and you may be required to sign paperwork saying as much.
There are some situations in which you can most likely file a claim, such as:
• Negligence or unreasonable behavior. If your child is injured because of the excessively aggressive behavior of another player or the coach fails to teach the young athletes to play safely, you may have a personal injury claim because of negligence or unreasonable behavior.
• Equipment failure. The manufacturer of sports equipment that fails to adequately protect kids may be liable for damages. If the product doesn't deliver the safety protection the company promises and your child is injured as a result of the equipment failure, you might be able to file a personal injury claim.
There are other, rarer scenarios when you may file a personal injury claim, so it's wise to seek the advice of an attorney if your child has been injured while playing sports.
Be Proactive to Prevent Many Injuries
Know your responsibilities to your young athletes. A lot of common sports injuries that kids face can be prevented. Feel confident when you take all possible measures to keep your kids safe while they're enjoying team sports.
The following actions can go a long way to prevent many types of sports injuries:
• Review the team's safety plan. Talk to the coach about the safety plan for the team. Every youth sports program should have an action plan to keep players safe, but some don't. Young athletes should be taught how to reduce their risks for common injuries like concussions. Help the team implement a safety plan if there isn't a plan in place.
• Get high-quality, state-of-the-art sports gear. Make sure that your kids have protective gear that offers maximum protection. Helmets should be new and in excellent shape. Wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads need to fit well and be made of high-quality materials.
• Make sure the right protective equipment is being used. All sports equipment that's being used needs to be in top shape. If equipment is old or in poor shape, speak up. Do your own research and talk to your team's coach if you feel the players aren't adequately protected.
• Discuss the risks with your children. Kids will take safety more seriously if they know why it matters. For example, children who try to avoid wearing helmets when playing football may think twice when they learn the nitty-gritty details on how they could suffer debilitating brain injuries without helmets.
• Set a good example. Always wear protective gear when you are engaging in physical activities, too. For example, when rollerblading with your kids, don't just require them to wear safety gear. Always wear your own helmet and protective pads.
When you are proactive about your kids' safety, you will feel better and you may prevent many types of injuries altogether.
The best-case scenario is to avoid personal injuries in the first place. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible. If your child has been injured while playing team sports, reach out to the Law Offices Of Rene Castellanos for a no-obligation consultation.