Can You Claim for Damages If You’re Injured in a Sporting Activity?

Australia is a sports mad nation. It may be to do with heritage, the favourable climate or a combination of other factors, but a lot of people enjoy their spare time by participating in a variety of different sports. While this is meant to be leisure time and as such an enjoyable event, the fact remains that sometimes an individual taking part in one of these activities can pick up a serious injury. If you're unfortunate enough to be that person, is there any way that you can seek compensation to help you recover from these injuries?

Assuming Risks

Many sports come with a fair element of risk, especially the so-called "danger" sports like downhill skiing or car racing. It is therefore expected that anybody taking part in these sports assumes an element of risk and knows that in certain circumstances, there is a chance that they may be hurt. This does not mean, however, that those individuals or organisations responsible for putting on the sport can be blasé about this risk. Generally speaking, there are very clear guidelines laid down by regulators or government authorities to dictate how each sport may be run and what protections can be put in place to help safeguard from injury or death.

Voluntary or Otherwise

Nevertheless, it is important to consider your 'voluntary assumption of risk' whenever you step into the sporting environment. If you happen to be injured in the normal course of the activity, you can still go forward with a claim for compensation but much will depend on the individual circumstances.

If you're claiming, for example, against another player in the game of rugby, then you need to be sure that the action taken by the other individual was contrary to the rules of the game, or unsportsmanlike. Perhaps you sustained a serious injury as a result of a high tackle, which is clearly outlawed within the rules of the sport. In this case, the defendant cannot argue that you had voluntarily assumed the risk, as they acted outside of the scope of that defence. It's certainly possible in this case that the individual or an insurance carrier will be liable to pay damage to help you cover the cost of treatment and lost earnings.

How to Proceed

To enable any claim to be successful, you need to understand the full scope of the law and must be very clear about the circumstances of the incident. It's best if you work with personal injury lawyers who can help you to unravel all the details and present a solid case.