Please note that this is not legal advice. See our disclaimer.
When your children participate in athletic activities at school, there is an assumption that those activities involve some risk of injury. Nonetheless, school officials have certain responsibilities to act in ways that minimize your child’s risk of injury.
As a general rule, schools and school officials must act in a reasonable manner when organizing and administering sports or athletic activities. Practices must be conducted in such a way as to reasonably minimize risk of injury. A wide range of factors can play into what is reasonable regarding practice, including:
- The length and frequency of practice—If it can be shown that an injury likely occurred because athletes were not given proper opportunity to rest and recover, or conversely, that athletes were placed in potentially dangerous situations without adequate conditioning, you may be able to seek damages.
- Whether or not athletes engaged in warm-up activities prior to practice
- Weather conditions at the time of practice
- Whether school officials provided adequate supervision during an athletic activity
- Whether the equipment or facilities used during an athletic activity were in proper working condition, or were reasonably designed to minimize the risk of injury—This can include damaged floors or uneven playing surfaces, as well as improperly placed mats or damaged or broken equipment, including cracked baseball bats.
- The level of experience of persons injured in school sports activities—Placing inexperienced students in competition against highly experienced athletes can increase the risk of injury, particularly in contact sports.
In most instances involving injuries sustained in school sports, the assumption of risk defense effectively defeats the injury claim. However, where it can be shown that the school, or coaches or other school officials were negligent, you may be able to recover for injuries sustained.
Contact the Law Offices of Horstine Law, LLC
At Horstine Law, LLC, we have decades of personal injury experience. We work with people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, using our knowledge, skill, experience and resources to help you get the outcome you want. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at215-568-4968 (in New Jersey at 609-523-2222).