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Sports Injury Claims

Can you make a sports injury claim?

Playing any kind of sport carries some level of risk, but where your injury is someone else’s fault – such as where health and safety rules weren’t followed, equipment was improperly maintained or someone was violent – you might be able to claim compensation.

If you’ve been injured playing sport, it can be difficult to tell whether you can make a compensation claim – that’s where an experienced team of injury lawyers, who specialise in winning compensation for sports injuries, can help.

To start a claim, your injury needs to have happened as a result of somebody else’s negligence or aggressive behaviour. For example, you might be able to make a sport injury claim if:

  • you were tackled improperly, causing you to become injured;
  • you didn’t receive the right coaching or instructions;
  • fields or playing surfaces weren’t maintained;
  • other players behaved violently;
  • equipment was dangerous or badly maintained.

The easiest way to find out whether you have a claim is to contact a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438. They’ll ask you some questions to get a clear understanding of what happened and can tell you whether they think you can make a successful case.

In most cases, you need to start the claims process within three years of the accident happening, so we recommend contacting an adviser as soon as possible after your injury while the it’s still fresh in your mind.

What compensation can I claim for?

Most people play sport to relax and unwind and it’s very unfair if this is taken from you. You don’t deserve to suffer without compensation to recognise what you’ve been through and to cover the costs your injury has caused.

Sports injuries can leave you stuck at home for long periods – not only can this make you feel depressed and lonely, it can also mean you’re unable to carry on playing sport or even go to work. In some serious cases, you might have to give up that sport altogether, especially if your doctor thinks your injury will cause ongoing problems.

An experienced solicitor will make sure all the costs of your injury are covered so you’re not left out of pocket. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on factors such as how serious your injury was, how it affected your life, whether you need future care or support, and whether you were left unable to work. It could include damages for:

  • pain and suffering;
  • mental trauma;
  • further medical treatment, including travel expenses to the hospital;
  • physiotherapy and other rehabilitation costs;
  • loss of earning if you’re not able to work after the incident;
  • any equipment and alterations to your home you need to help you live as normal a life as possible;
  • interim payments to cover your expenses while you wait for your final compensation package.

It may seem daunting, but any money you receive can help you get things back to how they were before your injury.

Types of sports injury claims

Injuries can happen in almost any kind of sport – but some injuries can be avoided if the right level of care and attention is given by those around you.

Team sports

Popular team sports such as rugby, football and cricket can cause serious injuries as a result of unfair play by another player, or by assault if another player is acting aggressively. Common injuries include ligament or tendon damage, leg injuries, head injuries or whiplash.

Horse riding injuries

Stables and trekking centres should ensure you have the equipment and training you need to ride safely. If you’ve received poor instruction or have faulty equipment such as tack, safety hats, girth or reins, the consequences can be serious.

Horses can sometimes be unpredictable and as a new rider, you should be properly supervised and instructed on how to handle them. If safety precautions aren’t taken then you can be thrown from the horse, crushed or kicked.

Gym injuries

Gym owners and staff should make sure the equipment is well maintained and safe for use, otherwise serious injuries can happen – for example, if weights machines, treadmills or benches break while you’re using them to exercise.

In some cases, the equipment may have been faulty due to a manufacturing problem. If this applies to you, a solicitor may be able to help you make a defective product claim.

Injuries as a spectator

Most people associate sports injuries with the actual players – but people watching sports are also at risk.

Large sports games can draw huge crowds, especially in stadiums or arenas. The people in charge of the event should take measures to control the crowd – this includes keeping track of the number of people to avoid overcrowding and people being trampled.

There are other risks to spectators, such as seats or benches collapsing, as well as violent behaviour by other people in the crowd leading to assault. People watching motorsport can also be injured by debris or vehicles coming off the track.

How we can help

No matter what type of sports injury you’ve suffered, it’s likely an injury solicitor can help you make a claim if it happened in the last three years and was somebody else’s fault.

A specialist lawyer will help you gather all the paperwork and evidence you need to present the strongest possible case. They’ll also negotiate with the relevant parties to try and win you an out-of-court settlement, but if the matter does have to go to court they’ll be with you every step of the way and speak on your behalf.

For more information, or to find out whether you could make a claim, you can get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. Or, if you’d prefer, fill in one of the contact forms on this page to arrange a call back.

What evidence will I need?

If you have suffered an injury through playing or watching sport, it will help back up your case if you can provide:

  • photos of the location;
  • photos of your injury;
  • details of the event;
  • the name of the person or organisation you feel is responsible for your injury;
  • the names and addresses of any witnesses who would support your version of events.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time it takes for compensation for a sport injury to be paid out in full can vary, depending on factors such as:

  • how serious your injury is;
  • the circumstances of the accident;
  • how long it takes to get medical reports;
  • whether the other side accepts liability.

A straightforward case could be settled in just a few months, but if liability is denied or the case is complicated, it may take longer. A solicitor will be able to give you a better idea of how long it will take once they’ve heard more details about your case.

No win no fee*

Most injury solicitors will be able to accept your sports injury claim on a no win no fee basis, which means you can make your claim without any financial risk to you and without paying any solicitors’ fees upfront.

You won’t have to pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful; you only ever pay anything if you win your claim, but this ‘success fee’ that you need to pay will not be more than 25 per cent of the compensation you receive.

What if the injury was partly your fault?

You may be able to claim some compensation even if the injury was partly your fault – as long as someone else was partly to blame too. This is called ‘contributory negligence’.

For example, if you have an accident while horse riding, the court may find that faulty equipment provided by the defendant was partly to blame, but you were also at fault because you didn’t follow the Highway Code.

An accident in the gym could have been partly caused by the gym owner failing to properly maintain the equipment you were using, but it could also be partly your fault for wearing the wrong footwear.

If this applies to you, you might still be able to receive compensation, but this will be reduced according to how much the judge thinks the accident was your fault.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.

By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.

If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.