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Personal Injury / October 20, 2017

Football Injuries and Tort Law in Mississippi

Football is the most popular sport in the South, and it is also the number one cause of sports-related injuries. Nearly 100,000 injuries are sustained by children and young adults every year while playing the game. Many of these injuries are considered traumatic and have long-lasting or even life-long effects.

Common Football-related Injuries

Football injuries can be the result of trauma, overuse, or environment. While most sports-related injuries are minor, some of the more serious injuries include:

  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones
  • Joint and ligament injuries affecting the knee, ankle, or shoulder
  • Spinal injuries
  • Heat stroke

Assumption of Risk in Mississippi

In many cases, football players and their parents are unable to sue for the injuries sustained during football games or practice. When people willingly engage in a knowingly dangerous activity, this is called “assumption of risk.” Assumption of risk is a legal doctrine in tort law (personal injury and negligence cases) recognizing a person’s liability for his own injuries when he participates in an activity where injury might reasonably occur. Because the inherent risks of playing football are widely known, there is rarely any recourse for players who are injured while playing this full-contact sport.

Assumption of risk can be express (a written waiver or verbal agreement) or implied (the activity is inherently dangerous and/or the person acted in a way suggesting he understood the risks). To “assume the risk,” the injury must be foreseeable, meaning a person could reasonably predict that injury might occur in that situation. For example, if a player is tackled during game play and suffers a concussion, this injury is foreseeable. However, if a player is accidentally run over by a golf cart on the field, this may not be considered assumption of risk, because a reasonable person would not necessarily expect that situation to occur.

Exceptional Circumstances

There are certain situations in which a person may still be able to recover damages from an injury sustained during a football game or practice. Some of these exceptions are:

  1. Negligence. If the coaching staff fails to recognize signs of danger, they may be liable for injuries sustained as a result of their negligence.
  2. Recklessness. If a coach ignores his duty of care to his players, or if a player thoughtlessly and irresponsibly injures another player, an athlete may be able to recover damages for his injuries.
  3. Intentional acts. The assumption of risk doctrine applies only in cases of accident. If a player intentionally harms another player, he is responsible for his own actions.
  4. Products liability. If a piece of protective gear or other sports equipment is found to be defective and/or unsafe, there may be some legal recourse for the injuries caused by this product.

Personal Injury Attorney in Jackson, MS

If you or your child suffered a serious injury while playing football or other contact sport, you may be wondering if there is any legal course of action. An experienced Jackson personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you on your chances of recovery. Contact the attorneys at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC, The Heavy Hitter today.



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