There’s no denying the fact that participating regularly in a sporting activity is good for you. On a basic level it keeps you fit and makes sure you get the exercise required to maintain general overall levels of good health. More than that, however, it can be a boost to your social life and psychological well-being, providing the kind of ‘fun’ activity which it’s all too easy to leave behind when you grow up, finish school and start working for a living.
According to statistics for England in 2018, running was the most popular physical activity, with over 6 million people going for a run at least twice a month. The top four sports, in order of popularity, were swimming, football, golf and tennis.
That’s not to say that football isn’t without its downside, however. Every week many of the people taking exercise and enjoying themselves are unlucky enough to suffer an injury. In most cases these injuries are fairly minor bruises, cuts and grazes or blisters and can be treated quickly with the minimum of disruption.
Occasionally, however, mores serious injuries can happen and when they do they can have a major impact upon the life of the person affected. Injuries of this kind commonly affect the joints, cartilage, tendons, bones and muscles and can result in a severe restriction of mobility which, in turn, will impact upon your ability to earn a living and pursue a social life. According to the NHS, the most common causes of sport injury are accidents, poor warm ups, faulty equipment, bad technique or overtraining.
There are also dangers to football spectators, as people can suffer an injury while watching a match at a football stadium. Trips and falls can happen, and if the owners of the stadium or ground in question have been negligent, and you have suffered a personal injury as a result, you could be entitled to claim.
If the injury you’ve suffered was simply an accident then there’s nothing you can do but try to be more careful in the future. It could be, however, that your injury was caused because another party was negligent, in which case you might be able to launch a claim for compensation.
When you take part in sport, especially contact sports like football, you put your safety in the hands of those organising and running the event and your fellow competitors. If the venue, equipment or facilities were of poor quality and this led to your injury then you’ve been let down badly. Perhaps a coach overworked you, didn’t allow sufficient warm up time or used a playing surface which fell below reasonable standards.
Similarly, if another competitor behaves in a reckless and unreasonable manner and therefore injures you, then you’ve every right to claim compensation from the person involved.
If something like this happens to you it’s vital that you gather as much information as possible in the immediate aftermath of the incident. This includes the accounts of any witnesses, photographs or sketches of the circumstances, any entries in accident books or medical notes and your own detailed account of what happened.
Since any compensation awarded will be intended to reimburse you for expenses deriving from your injury it’s also vital that you keep receipts of anything you have to spend which you wouldn’t otherwise have had to spend, i.e. travel costs, medical bills and a detailed record of any impact there has been on your ability to earn a living.
Nobody wants to discourage those who seek to keep fit through sporting exercise, but the no win no fee personal injury system means that you can do so safe in the knowledge that you won’t be the one to ultimately pay for other people’s negligence.
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.
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