Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are an unfortunate and common occurrence in sports, especially contact sports. Sports that are highly physical like football, hockey, and boxing come to mind almost immediately for most people, but the truth is, you are at risk of brain injury in any sport. A victim of a sports-induced brain injury in the U.S. might not know that pursuing compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial strain the injury causes is an option for them, so this blog aims to educate on just that. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI due to a sports injury, there may be legal options available to you.

The Potential Legal Options for Someone With a TBI Caused by a Sports Injury:

Negligence Claim Against a Coach or Team

It’s possible that your TBI was caused by the negligence of a coach or team. If this feels like your situation, you may be able to file a negligence claim against them. Coaches and teams have an obligation to provide a safe environment for their athletes, regardless of the imposed risks of the sport you’re playing. If your coach or team failed to take reasonable steps to prevent injury and allowed you to train in an unsafe environment, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries. Note that even if you signed a waiver of liability for your sport, that does not guarantee immunity from legal action for those responsible. Here’s why:

Waiver of Liability

In some cases, you may have signed a waiver of liability before participating in a sports activity. Waivers of liability are designed to protect coaches and teams from legal action if an athlete is injured while participating in the activity. However, waivers of liability may be challenged in court if they are found to be unconscionable or if the coach or team acted recklessly or intentionally. If your attorney can help prove that negligent actions took place, there is cause for a lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you suffered a TBI while playing a professional sport, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The San Antonio personal injury lawyers at Aguirre Law Firm stress the importance of pursuing compensation after an injury occurs, as medical costs can leave you in serious financial debt. As a professional athlete, you are considered an employee of the team, and if you suffer a TBI while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In order to file a claim like this, you should contact your state’s workers’ compensation official.

Product Liability Claim Against An Equipment Manufacturer

If your TBI was caused by faulty or defective sports equipment, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the equipment manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. Manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe and free from defects, and if their product fails to meet this duty, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries. Manufacturers are held responsible under something called “strict product liability”, which protects a person injured from using a defective product from having to prove negligence against the defendant. The maker/seller of the product cannot evade liability as long as the victim can prove that the product caused them injury.

It’s important to note that every case is unique, and the legal options available to you will depend on the specific context of your case. The laws vary slightly depending on the state you live in, so be sure to consult with an attorney or legal professional about the best course of action for your state and the cause and severity of your traumatic brain injury.