Californians are active and our climate permits outdoor sports to be played throughout the year, which may help to explain why recreational and competitive sports are so popular in California. K-12 students, college students, and adults participate in sports throughout the state on many different levels. Unfortunately, along with sports sometimes come sports injuries. Often sports injuries are just bad luck, but sometimes those injuries are a direct result of someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct.
In order to show that negligence caused a sports injury you must first show that the defendant had a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and the sports injury occurred as a result of that breach. The level of the duty of care owed depends on the circumstances of a particular case and it also depends on the age and maturity of the injured sports participant.
In most cases, a child participating in sports is going to be owed a greater duty of care than an adult participating in sports. Children are more vulnerable than adults and that means that schools, coaches, and sports organizations likely owe a greater duty of care to children participating in sports programs. For example, youth sports coaches have more responsibility to watch out for child participants and dangers that children may not be mature enough to appreciate. See below for examples of negligence in youth sports injury cases:
In most cases, adult sports participants will be owed a lower duty of care than children, but that does not mean they are not owed any duty of care. Cases where a defendant has breached a duty of care to an adult sports participant include some of the following:
Often people who sign liability waivers assume that they are out of luck if they or their child is injured while playing sports. Waivers may waive some liability for schools, coaches, other players, and sports organizations, but liability for injuries resulting from certain conduct including recklessness, gross negligence or intentional bad acts may not be enforceable. If you or your child has suffered a sports injury due to someone else’s fault, contact El Cajon sports injury attorney, Eugene G. Bruno, to schedule a consultation.