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Not All Sports Personal Injuries are Accidents; How to Determine Liability

One of the most common ways that people get injured is while participating in sports, either competitively or recreationally. Most sports injuries happen by accident; there truly is no one to blame or to be held liable. There is an “assumption of risk” that is taken when people participate in sports, and participants may be required to sign releases of liability that indemnify the property owner, school or parties from any liability for injuries.

However, if your injury wasn’t an accident, but the result of another party’s willful and/or negligent actions, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and any financial losses. Some of the most common ways another party, like a gym owner, trainer, coach or other player, could be held liable include:

  • If the circumstances were above and beyond the normal risk assumed by the participants
  • If the injury was caused by the carelessness or negligence of a coach or instructor
  • If the equipment used was faulty
  • If the premises or court were maintained in an unsafe condition
  • If standard safety measures and protocols were not followed by the owner of the facility or coaches

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while playing sports, and you wish to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, pain, suffering, and lost wages, give us a call at 845-600-0000 to receive a free consultation at our offices in Kingston or Poughkeepsie, NY.

According to a 2013 national study, here’s the breakdown of the most common sports injuries by age and gender:

What are some sports that cause personal injuries in the Hudson Valley?

There are many nuances to different kinds of sports injury cases. The common denominator is if another party was negligent in causing an injury to occur. If you or a loved one has been injured because of another party’s negligence, and you want to know if you can collect compensation for those injuries, give us a call at 845-600-0000 to set up a free consultation at our offices in Kingston or Poughkeepsie.

Bicycling Personal Injury

It’s estimated that about 20% of bicycling injuries that warrant a trip to the emergency room are traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. Other kinds of common bicycle injuries include fractures and amputations as well as neck and back injuries.

Some of the other parties that could cause bicycling accidents include:

  • Auto drivers
  • Municipalities not properly designing or maintaining roadways
  • The manufacturer of a bicycle, helmet and other safety equipment

We’ve written quite a bit about safe bicycling tips for the Hudson Valley on our blog. Some of our top tips include:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Ride with traffic whenever possible
  • Ride carefully in new areas
  • Obey the rules of the road
  • Use hand signals while turning
  • Know where you’re going and map out your route

Football Personal Injury

Football injuries tend to happen to males under the age of 18. In our community, that tends to mean youth and high school football players. The biggest thing to look out for are head injuries in the form of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions. TBIs and concussions can have both short-term and long-lasting impacts, including:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Difficulty maintaining control of emotions
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired speech and language
  • Increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other brain disorders

In the context of youth and organized football, there is often a parental waiver that is required to be signed that absolves the school or organizer of any responsibility for injuries. However, it’s possible that the school or organizer did not:

  • Provide adequate instruction on rules and procedures
  • Provided or required the use of proper equipment
  • Reasonably match the participants in terms of size and skill
  • Provide adequate supervision
  • Follow injury prevention protocols

Hiking Personal Injury

The Hudson Valley is one of the best places in the entire world to go hiking. No matter how careful or prepared you are, there’s still a chance of getting injured or worse on the trails based on another party’s negligence.

The owner or caretaker of a hike could have failed to keep the trail in a “reasonably safe condition.” It’s possible that they did not warn hikers about features or hazards; maybe the terrain is subject to sudden flooding, or falling rocks, or sudden drop offs. Even if a warning sign to not “proceed past this point” is up, if it is known that hikers frequently go past the sign, it may not be enough.

Walking as a Pedestrian

We’ve written about some of the improvements coming to Poughkeepsie’s crosswalks, as well as some of the most popular places to walk in the Hudson Valley. But even if you’re just a pedestrian minding your own business, and following all of the rules, accidents can still happen:

  • Drivers could be negligent
  • Drivers could be under the influence
  • Crosswalks and sidewalks could be improperly designed or maintained
  • Drivers could fail to properly maintain their vehicles, causing an accident
  • A weather event or negligence from a business could cause slippery conditions