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Just about everyone has gone to a professional sporting event and seen their favorite athlete get hurt. The truth is, injuries are part of playing any sport, be it professional or amateur. This is a fact that both athletes and spectators understand. Thankfully, when athletes have accidents, they are usually minor, resulting in the athlete missing the rest of the game or maybe a couple of games. However, there are those rare occasions when an accident at a professional sporting event is so severe that it puts the athlete’s entire career at risk. What is even worse is when these types of accidents result because another player, a spectator, or a referee intentionally injures the athlete. This leads to the question, if an athlete is injured as a result of a deliberate act on the part of someone else, who is responsible financially?
Who Is Responsible for Deliberate Sports Related Accidents?
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Some of the most common sports related injuries include:
  • Concussions
  • Neck and Head Injuries
  • Damage to the Nervous System
  • And At Times Death
These injuries can happen when fans, who in their fervor to support their team, throw things on the field or even go down on the field and attack athletes. Referees and security personnel who have the job of protecting athletes, especially in events like boxing or martial arts tournaments, may bear a level of responsibility if the accident was caused because they were negligent in the manner with which they either got in the way of the athlete while they were playing or allowed another athlete or spectator to do something that leads to an athlete getting injured.
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Responsibility may also extend to the bodies that govern professional or collegiate sports, organizers of a sporting event, and can even include the suppliers and manufacturers of sporting goods that are later learned to be defective or inherently dangerous. Usually, the only way to establish who is to blame is to examine the circumstances surrounding the accident, determine who had what responsibility, and use this information to identify the negligent parties.
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What Can Be Defined as a Sports Injury?
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In addition to the aforementioned injuries sustained during the course of play, an athlete might sustain an injury because of intentional battery on the part of another player or a spectator. Although certain sports injuries are to be expected during the course of playing the game, an athlete may be held liable for causing injury if they intentionally did something that they had an obligation not to do. For example, while playing basketball, if one player lowered their shoulder to charge another player knowing that this could cause the player damage and as a result of their actions a player falls to the ground, breaks a finger or damages an elbow, this action could be defined as battery and could leave the offending party liable.
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In the most extreme cases, sports related injuries might bring an end to an athlete’s career. This means there may be a potential loss of wages which, according to an article published in USA Today, could be the equivalent of millions of dollars. Thus, if you believe that you or someone you know has suffered a sports related injury caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our law firm. We are happy to use our experience to help you and those you care about to get the best possible outcome in court.
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We are deeply concerned that you and your loved ones get a fair outcome in court. We are eager to put our years of experience to work for you.
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Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into workers’ compensation and personal injury practice.
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