Can you claim compensation for a sports injury?

Are you suffering from a sports injury? You may be entitled to make a public liability claim. Find out more and speak to our expert public liability lawyers to make a claim.

Although sport is an enriching and rewarding activity, there may be certain inherent risks involved. If you find yourself with a sports injury, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. 

What do we mean by  the “inherent risks”involved in sport?

Every sport has some form of risk that is considered an ‘inherent risk’. Inherent Risks are risks, both known and unknown, that cannot be eliminated completely (without changing the challenging nature of the Event) regardless of the care and precautions taken. For instance, with sports like rugby and wrestling, there is the inherent risk of physical contact from other players. This may cause you to be at risk of falling down or being forcefully pushed. 

Other inherent risks include:

  • Getting hit on the head with a ball while playing cricket or soccer
  • Falling off your bike during a bike race
  • Tripping over during a marathon 

You may dismiss your injury as nothing more than that it was an expected occurrence, especially if you took part in extreme sports like BMX riding or bungee jumping. 

Although inherent risks exist and may be acceptable, organisers of a sport event are expected to ensure safeguards are in place to provide a safe environment for participants. Where safeguards are not in place, you may be entitled to claim compensation by making a public liability claim.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is there to protect organisations against any personal injury claims made against them by the public during the course of their activities. For instance, with sport organisations and clubs, public liability insurance is there to cover costs that result from a sports injury as a result of any negligence on the part of the organisation or club.

Public liability insurance covers:

  • Medical expenses associated with the sports injury
  • Cost of replacing any damaged property
  • Legal expenses incurred as a result of the sports injury

Negligence is an interesting word and arises when there is a duty of care that is breached. In the sporting world, setting aside the inherent risks, there is a duty on the sports organiser to ensure avoidable injuries do not take place. This duty can extend to coaches, officials and representatives of the sporting organisation.

Where this duty is breached and you suffer a sports injury as a result of that breach, you may be entitled to make a public liability claim for compensation.

How to make a personal injury claim

When you sustain a sports injury,  you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will also assist to ensure that there is an independent record of your injury.  Medical records will also keep track of your treatment and recovery progress for your injury.

You can make a compensation claim for the following:

  • Medical treatment expenses
  • Damages for pain and suffering
  • Loss of earnings
  • Any costs associated with domestic assistance and home modifications

A specialist personal injury lawyer can assist with your claim and ensure you include all relevant information. 

As a rule of thumb, you should:

  • Record the details of your incident including the events leading up to your injury
  • Obtain medical reports relating to the initial injury and your treatment
  • Ensure you report the incident to the relevant authorities where appropriate
  • Keep records and receipts for any wage loss and medical and related expenses
  • Make your claim as soon as possible, as you have three years to make a claim from the date of the accident

Making a claim with iCare Sporting Injuries Insurance Scheme

In NSW, you may be able to make a claim for lump sum compensation through the iCare Sporting Injuries Insurance Scheme for a serious sporting injury or death resulting from a sporting injury. 

This is a no fault scheme meaning sporting organisations are able to take out insurance cover and can include both players and officials in the policy. The iCare Sporting Injuries Insurance Scheme only covers registered players or registered officials of a sporting organisation who are members of the Sporting Injuries Insurance Scheme. This may include school children.

Compensation claims made through the iCare scheme only cover major injuries such as loss of eyesight, loss of  limbs or death.

To be assessed for the claim, you will need to prove that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). The NSW Government considers MMI to occur when the condition has  stabilised and is unlikely to change substantially in the next year with or without medical treatment.

A claim under the Icare Sporting Injuries Insurance Scheme must be made within 12 months from the date of the injury.

To understand more about your eligibility to claim under the scheme, you should consult a personal injury specialist

Reimbursement of medical costs and dental expenses and wage loss are NOT covered by the scheme.

Speak to a personal injury lawyer

Recreational sports are fun and exciting, and as a participant, you should feel safe. However, serious sport injuries do occur and often they take place due to lack of appropriate safeguards. The no-win-no-fee lawyers at Masselos & Co have extensive experience with public liability claims and can assist you. Speak to one of our public liability lawyers today – book your free consultation today

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