What are the Rules of the Game for Sports Injury Liability?

Many people enjoy participating in amateur sports leagues. Playing on a sports team is a great way to get regular exercise and meet new people. And though it feels great to be part of a team and to play a sport, amateur athletes often suffer sports-related injuries during gameplay. In Nevada, what exactly are the rules of the game for sports injury liability? If a player sustains an injury while playing a sport, is there grounds for a personal injury lawsuit? 

Assumption of the Risk Applies in Most Cases

As a general rule, when someone decides to participate in an extracurricular activity like joining an amateur sports team, the player is choosing to assume the risk of injury that is commonly associated with playing that particular sport. Many times, injuries are the result of negligence during gameplay, or the injuries are caused accidentally. For example, when playing basketball, it is not uncommon for players to run into each other when trying to gain possession of the basketball. Injuries are commonly sustained in basketball, such as twisted ankles, bruises, or broken bones from running into another player or being knocked down onto the court, or being hit in the face by a stray elbow.

When the injuries that are sustained during gameplay are of a type that are commonly occurring in that particular sport, there is generally no liability for the injury. It is expected that players might act negligently during gameplay and inadvertently cause injury to other players.

When the Injury Results From Abnormal Causes

However, there may be circumstances in which liability for sports-related injury may arise outside the risks normally associated with the sport. One example involves the unreasonable behavior or actions of another. When a sports-related injury is caused by unreasonable behavior of another, then the resulting injuries may fall outside the realm of what are considered normal injuries for that type of sport. Returning to the basketball example, If an opposing player loses his cool during gameplay and viciously or maliciously attacks a player during gameplay, the opposing player could be held liable for the resulting injuries suffered by his or her victim. 

Another example of when liability might exist for a sports-related injury is if the sports-related injury is the result of defective sporting equipment or personal safety equipment. For instance,  if a basketball player is capable of making a slam dunk, and does so but shatters the glass of the backboard and a glass shard ends up in the player’s eye, it could be that the backboard was not compliant with safety regulations. This situation could constitute grounds for a product liability lawsuit to recover damages for the injuries that were incurred.  

A Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Can Advise You

If you have been injured while participating in an amateur sport and you believe that the cause of your injuries falls outside of the realm of assumption of the risk, you should speak with an experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer about your particular circumstances. In sports-related injury cases, it is sometimes difficult to parse out the line between when injury liability falls under assumption of the risk and when it does not. Contact the professionals at Parry & Pfau to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss situation today.