The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

When Is a Student Athlete's Injury a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

As much as we don’t want summer to be over, it is getting to be that “back to school” time of year. We all saw the commercials during the Olympics that reminded us that the time was drawing near for the children to head back. You might not have even needed the reminder because your kids are already in their preseason camp or, like the Eagles, have already had a preseason game.

But what happens if your child gets injured on the gridiron? You signed the permission form and had the kids get their physicals, but does that stop you from having any recourse from the school? Not necessarily, because there are injuries that could rise to the level of a personal injury lawsuit.

Generally, personal injury claims are waived when playing a sport because the person playing has consented to the risks involved. For example, if you're playing tackle football, you have consented to the other players hitting you during play.

It is likely that if your child is under 18 that any permission form that you signed was his or her consent to the physical activity that will happen in their respective sport. Further, if a school requires a physical, it is to assure that the child is healthy enough to play sports (helping the school avoid negligence liability).

This does not mean that if your child is severely injured that there is no recourse with the school or coaches. However, that recourse is limited to injuries that are caused by actions beyond normal game time or practice play.

So if your child is injured during a third down conversion, it is unlikely that it is the fault of the school or coach. However, if your child is injured because they complained of a possible injury and the coach forced them to play, then there might be a personal injury lawsuit in your future.

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