Carrie Tennick explains what to do when someone is responsible for your injury.
Injuries are often a part of taking part in sports or other forms of training. But what do you do when the sprain, torn tendon or fracture you have suffered is a personal injury?
There is a fine line between a typical sports injury and this kind of injury – which happens when someone is responsible for causing the accident you were hurt in or making it worse.
This means it can be difficult to judge whether you have been injured through someone's negligence. And if you have, what should you do about it?
There is always an implied level of risk in sports, especially in the contact variety. But that does not mean you should expect to be hurt.
Whether your injury is someone else's fault is not always clear cut. There are occasions when it will be obvious – such as when your equipment or facilities just are not up to standard or when you are hurt in a fight between teams or supporters. You might also be hurt in a collision when out riding your bike – one of the more obvious at-fault sports injuries.
However, some injuries may not initially appear to be someone else's fault but are indeed down to someone's negligence. This could be after some poor instruction from coaches or trainers, leading you to use the improper form and hurt yourself. You could also be injured after an illegal tackle during a football game, which could leave you with injuries as serious as a broken leg.
When this sort of injury happens, you will need to use your judgement to identify the cause. Think about whether someone was responsible. Who was it – an individual or an organisation? And how did their actions cause you to be harmed?
What to do
When you suffer a sports injury, your priority is to make sure you get the right treatment for it. This could mean medical attention or natural healing – whichever is appropriate in the circumstances. It is important to treat your injury as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of getting back on the field as soon as possible.
It is also advisable to get the details of any witnesses to your accident. They could help you prove your case – if it gets to the point of bringing one. You should also write down the details of the accident so you have everything ready if you need to refer to certain details or tell someone what happened.
As well as any witness details, you should put together any other evidence you have surrounding the accident. This includes the exact details of what happened, a copy of any report you may have made about the incident and all medical treatment appointment information – dates, times, names of clinicians seen.
If you have had to spend any money on any treatment or on repairing any damaged property or equipment, you should also record this.
Pursuing legal action
After you have made a note of everything relating to your accident, you can start to think about taking legal action. If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you could be able to make a compensation claim. This could help you pay for treatment and get you back to your best.
If you are suffering because of an organisation's negligence, you will typically make a claim to their insurance company.
You can claim back the money you have spent on treating your injury, as well as anything you have had to spend on repairing any items damaged in your accident. This will help you get back to the position you were in before you were hurt.
Ultimately, whether you decide to take legal action is up to you, but the benefits of doing so are clear.
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About the Author
Carrie Tennick is a content specialist at First4Lawyers, who help people hurt in accidents get justice. The company works to claim compensation for injuries suffered through accidents that were not their fault.
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: