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Liability for Youth Sports Injuries

Participation in sports leagues in Florida are a healthy activity for children.  They learn competitive skills, how to interact with others, how to win and lose, and they learn how to play a fun activity they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.  But what happens when they are injured at one of their sports league games because of an unsafe condition?  Once the dust settles and your child recovers, it may be best to speak with youth sports injury lawyer.

What are the Most Common Children’s Sports Injuries in Florida?

Stanford University estimates that more than 3.5 million children get hurt annually in the United States. The leading cause of death in children sports leagues is due to a brain injury.  In fact, sports and recreational activities are the cause of almost 21% of brain injuries in children.  The cause of children’s brain injuries can be many things, but the most common are:

  1. Collisions with other children
  2. Hard impacts from falls
  3. Defective safety equipment such as helmets, safety netting and safety pads and matting

What are the Children’s Sports with the Most Injuries?

This could be a function of how many children play each sport, or it could be an indication of the physical difficulty of the sport, but the top 5 youth sports with the most injuries are:

  1. Youth football
  2. Youth basketball
  3. Youth soccer (estimated to cause over 400,000 brain injuries/year)
  4. Youth baseball
  5. Youth softball

What are the Causes of Other Youth Sports Injuries?

  1. Unsafe fields with potholes
  2. Inadequate safety equipment near hard surfaces like basketball courts and gymnastics floors
  3. Failure to supervise children

Who is Responsible for Your Child’s Youth Sports Injury?

Youth sports leagues are managed by many different entities.  There are more than 20 million non-profit youth sports leagues in the U.S., and 25 million youth sports leagues affiliated with a school.  And with that many sports leagues, there are bound to be injuries.  But what if your child is injured because their sports league had an unsafe field, or unsafe equipment?  Is the league or school responsible for your child’s sports injury?

Most sports leagues run by Florida cities and counties have insurance provided by the city or county, or through their league organizer like Little League, Babe Ruth, Florida Youth Soccer Association, or a similar organization.  All school run youth sports leagues will have insurance coverage through the school.

How Florida Law Applies to Youth Sports Injuries

Florida youth sports injuries are governed by the premises liability laws and negligence laws of Florida.  For a premises liability claim, you need to prove that your child was lawfully on the premises, a sports field or facility, and that they were injured due to a dangerous condition that the sports league knew about or should have known about.  A negligence claim is proven the same way – that is the person or entity running the sports league knew about, or should have known about, a dangerous condition but did nothing to warn children about the dangerous condition or did nothing to fix the dangerous condition.  Examples of this are:

  1. Playing fields with dangerous conditions like potholes or exposed sprinklers
  2. Safety gear like helmets and pads that are not supplied or do not fit properly
  3. Failing to use or properly position safety mats for gymnastics, cheerleading, wrestling and similar youth sports
  4. Failing to supervise young children using dangerous equipment like baseball bats or pole vaulting equipment

If the league or school failed to take reasonable measures to keep your child safe while playing a youth sport, you may have a personal injury claim.  Contact an experienced youth sports injury lawyer at Maus Law Firm for a free case evaluation.

 

 

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