Sport Injury Lawyers - Injury Compensation Claim Solicitors - Australia
LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
Participating in sports involves inherent risks of injury. If however your injury is the result of negligence, deliberate or reckless conduct, inadequate supervision, unexpected violent conduct or unsafe facilities, your lawyer may be able to make a sports injury claim for compensation. Careers can be ruined by sports injuries resulting in loss of income and earning potential. Some injuries may be so disabling requiring ongoing medical treatment, surgery and attendant care.
Sports law covers a wide range of legal avenues including actions under the common law (tort of negligence), legislation (the Civil Liability Act), contract law, criminal injuries compensation schemes, workers’ compensation schemes and public liability law. Sporting facilities, clubs, associations, schools and employers usually have insurance to cover injuries during sporting activities, and it is the insurance company which will pay the compensation to cover your injury claim.
If you need legal advice about making a sport injury compensation claim, then you have come to the right place. Our Australian sport injury lawyers are experienced in representing the rights of injured people. No matter the type of sport or injury, tour solicitors can advise you of whether you are able to make a compensation claim. Our advice service is without obligation. It costs you nothing to speak with one of our lawyers. Complete the Contact Form or call our helpline to receive legal advice from a qualified solicitor at no cost.
The Law of Negligence
If your solicitor brings an action for negligence, then you must prove that a “duty of care” was owed to you; that the defendant breached their duty of care, and as a consequence of that breach you have suffered damage.
Examples of where a duty of care may arise in sports negligence cases :-
Occupiers of sporting facilities owe a duty of care to all those on the premises to ensure that the premises are safe and reasonable steps are taken to prevent foreseeable risks of harm.
A ‘sport supervisor’ has a duty of care to participants and spectators.
Sporting participants owe one another a duty to prevent foreseeable risks of injury.
Organisers may owe a duty to ensure participants are not suffering from conditions such as HIV or Hepatitis, which could be transmitted during the course of the sport.
An employer may be vicariously liable for injuries that occur during sporting events and activities that are part of the employee’s course of ordinary employment.
A school may in some cases be liable for students injured during sporting activities, P.E (physical education).
Each sport carries with it differing risks and therefore the courts will apply different standards of care. If there has been a breach in duty of care, resulting in damage, you may be entitled to claim compensation for :-
- medical expenses including doctor’s charges and cost of medication
- physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment
- loss of wages and earning potential
- domestic assistance
- nursing and attendant care
- equipment aids and housing modifications
- general damages for pain and suffering
If the defendant can establish any contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff, the amount of damages may be reduced accordingly.
Wide Range of Sports
Sport injuries can and do occur with all types of sports including :-
- football (rugby league, soccer, rugby union, aussie rules football, touch football).
- cycling (mountain, track and velodrome, road, bmx)
- motor sports (motorcycling, go-carting, motor racing)
- roller sports (skateboarding, in-line skating, rollerblading, roller skating)
- water sports (swimming, scuba diving, boating, surfing, diving, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing)
- gymnastics and trampoline
- combative sports (martial arts, boxing, karate, tae kwon-do, kick-boxing, wrestling, judo)
- walking and running
- racquet sports (tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis, ping pong)
- ice and snow sports (skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, ice skating and dancing).
- equestrian activities
Sporting accidents usually occur from a fall, striking or collision, or contact with sports equipment, and can result in the following injuries :-
- spinal injury
- cervical disc injury
- lumbar disc injury
- traumatic brain injury
- musculoskeletal injury
- facial fractures
- eye injuries
- shoulder dislocation
- rotator cuff injury
- fractured clavicle
- tendon tears
- joint sprains
- nerve damage
- arm fractures (forearm, scaphoid, hand, elbow, finger)
- rib fractures
- spleen injury
- hip fractures
- cartilage tear
- sports hernia
- groin injury
- internal organ damage
- deep vein thrombosis
- compartment syndrome
- leg injury (fractured femur, acl injury, pcl injury, knee injury, meniscal tear, patellar tendon rupture, fractured tibia, fibia, quadriceps strain, shin stress fracture, Achilles injury, plantar fasciitis, ankle cartilage injury, metatarsal stress fracture, foot injury, anterior ankle impingement)
Obviously, the majority of sporting injuries are not the result of negligence. Just because you have suffered an injury does not mean you automatically qualify for compensation. If however you suspect that there was negligence, or deliberate or reckless conduct, you should discuss the circumstances of your accident with a qualified sports lawyer who will advise you of your legal options.
- An amateur golfer was held liable for failing to ensure it was reasonably safe to hit a ball before playing off, which consequently struck another golfer on the course ahead causing serious injury (Ollier v Magnetic Island Country Club  QCA 137). The injured golfer was awarded $2.6 million in damages.
- A young rider in a motor cross event suffered serious injuries after falling off a jump and being struck by a following motorcyclist. It was held there were insufficient safety marshals present to warn following riders a fall had occurred (Macarthur Districts Motor Cycle Sportsmen Inc v Ardizzone  NSWCA 145).
- In the recent decision of Belna Pty Ltd v Irwin (2009), the NSW Court of Appeal considered the duty of care owed by a gym operator (Fernwood) to a client who suffered a serious knee injury while performing lunges as part of an exercise program designed by an employee of the gym. The client had informed the gym that she had previously suffered knee injuries. The Court of Appeal held that Fernwood was liable for the injury. The court disregarded the liability exclusion clause in the gym contract on the basis that it was vague to the point of being meaningless.
- In Williams v Latrobe Council  TASSC 2, the plaintiff, an Australian Rules footballer, suffered a serious ankle injury when his foot landed awkwardly partly on the top of a ground cover and partly on the surrounding soil. The council owned and maintained the ground. The council was held liable.
- In Shellharbour City Council v Rigby  NSWCA 308, a 13 year old girl was injured when she fell at the first jump of a BMX track. The court held that both the council and the club had breached their duty of care by failing to take reasonable steps to avoid injury to inexperienced riders by not fencing off the starting pad and ramp to prevent it being used by such riders.
- The New South Wales Court of Appeal in Ohlstein v Lloyd  NSWCA 226 considered that the organisers had been negligent because the trail leaders had failed to lead the plaintiff’s horse at the time of the accident. The plaintiff was only 5 years of age. The organiser should have ensured that the trail leader used a lead rope to control the horse the beginner was riding and this precaution, while it might not have prevented that accident from occurring, would have certainly reduced the risk and it could have been done at little cost.
- In Langham v Connells Point Rovers Soccer Club Inc  NSWCA 461 the plaintiff had tripped over a rope of the same colour as the ground, which had been strung low across the entranceway to a park where soccer was being played. The Court of Appeal held that there should have been some warning of the presence of the rope.
Sport Injury Lawyers & Solicitors
If you require legal advice, call our sport injury lawyers helpline today or complete the on-line Contact Form. Our solicitors offer initial advice at no cost without further obligation. Should you decide to pursue a claim, our solicitors may be able to act for you on a No Win No Fee basis. Our sport injury lawyers will fully explain to you what is involved in making a claim for sports injury compensation, including the evidence that will be needed in filing a claim (witness statements, medical reports, independent expert reports etc).
Most compensation claims settle out of court through negotiations with insurance companies and their legal representatives, without the need to resort to court action. Strict time limits apply in making sport injury compensation claims, so you should seek specialist legal advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. Contact us today for legal advice with no charge.
LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here