A Law Career

If Your Child Is Injured At Sports Practice Should You Sue?

by Ruby Mckinney

No sporting activity comes to mind that is without injury. Even children at a playground will come away with cuts and bruises. Despite this, should you be accepting of any injuries your child sustains while playing a sport just because sporting activities are expected to be forceful?

There are instances where you cannot sue anyone for your child's injuries and some where you can.

Because of "assumption of risk", it can be difficult to bring a lawsuit against the school football or basketball team since your child decided to participate in the sport knowing the potential risks. However, there are situations that fall outside assumed risk and those can be litigated.

Intentionally Malicious Conduct

Assumed risk does not include assault by an opponent during the game. If an opponent is unhappy with your child's play and punches him/her in the face, you can sue the aggressor for their conduct. This also applies to illegal play which results in an injury.

Defective Equipment

In any sports, there is an assumption and understanding that the equipment is safe and in proper condition otherwise we would not allow our children to play. It is the responsibility of the school or organization to ensure that the equipment used by the kids is safe. Using defective equipment knowingly can be grounds for a lawsuit.

In cases of product liability, the manufacturer can be sued for a faulty product like a golf club head that comes off and hits a spectator or another player.


Any negligence on the part of an entity or person that is tasked with the safety of players during a sport opens up the organization to a lawsuit. For example, not having trained medical assistant staff and in some instances even an ambulance of fire truck nearby can be considered negligent resulting in a lawsuit. This is especially applicable when the organizers are aware of the level of contact that can result in injury that a sport requires.

Coaches implementing dangerous plays and techniques which result in injuries can also be sued for negligent coaching.

Reckless Behavior

This can be intentional or unintentional. A celebratory toss or losing hurl of a baseball bat or golf club into the field causing injury to another player can be grounds for a lawsuit.

Most of the injuries children sustain at sports are during the practice sessions as opposed to the actual game. If any of the injuries satisfy the above criteria then suing is an option. It is therefore imperative that the child and the guardian understand the risks involved in a sport and how to mitigate those risk from their end before letting the child play. It is also important to be sure about the level of responsibility, reliability and, ethics of the team your child plays for. But, in the end, if you feel that legal action is the best course, you're within your rights, and any legal services team would be happy to advise you. 

Contact professionals like McKone & Unruh for more information.