Maryland is well-known for being an athletic state. In addition to being the first state with an official state exercise(walking!), Maryland is home to two NFL teams, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens, MLB’s Baltimore Orioles, and the Preakness Stakes. Lastly, the state’s official team sport is lacrosse, and it hosts nine NCAA Division I LAX teams, including powerhouses Johns Hopkins University and the United States Naval Academy.
Athletics are also popular among children in Maryland who play in school. With athletics this prevalent, it’s no wonder that Maryland is also home to many sports-related injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 775,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 visit the emergency room each year with sports-related injuries. Athletic injuries are the leading cause of ER visits for those aged 12-17.
In many cases, an athlete’s livelihood depends on their ability to play. Even in times when the athlete fully recovers from an injury, their capacity is often diminished after such an injury. When an athlete is injured on the field, at practice, or in the gym, it may be challenging to determine that the injury was the result of someone’s negligence. A Maryland athletic injury attorney can help determine whether the injury occurred at the fault of another and whether the injured athlete may be entitled to compensation.
How Can CHASENBOSCOLO Help Me?
Attorneys Barry M. Chasen and Benjamin T. Boscolo and their team of 25 lawyers and 90 professionals with over 100 years of combined experience have been helping those injured in a variety of accidents across Maryland since 1986.
For over 30 years at CHASENBOSCOLO, we have stuck by the same mission: Always put clients first, and treat them like family. We know how important it is to provide compassion and comfort to clients who have been injured in an accident. Such care will ease your mental anguish and give you peace of mind during such a difficult time.
We are a dedicated group of attorneys who prepare every case to go to trial, regardless of whether we are working toward a settlement or not. Such preparation allows us to obtain better outcomes for clients, as shown by our successful track record.
We fight for every client. Our aggressive representation, our attention to detail, and our tenacity help us provide clients with the compensation they deserve following an injury caused by another’s negligence.
We offer the No Fee Guarantee®. Under this guarantee, every potential client is provided with a free and confidential case evaluation. By coming into one of our offices, calling, or filling out the online form, we can help you to determine if you have a negligence case worth pursuing.
Our guarantee also ensures that we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will pay no attorney’s fees unless you recover any compensation for your injuries. If you don’t recover, you owe nothing.
Lastly, the No Fee Guarantee means that you will pay no upfront or legal expense. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for filing fees or costs for investigations or reports. Instead, we advance such costs and deduct these expenses from your settlement or verdict.
What are Some Common Types of Athletic Injuries?
There are many different ways that an athlete at any level of play could suffer an injury, especially if they are not properly supervised, if the opponent does not follow the rules of the game, or if anyone on the field is reckless or negligent in any way. Some commonly reported sports injuries include:
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)– These injuries are especially common in high-impact sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse. This injury is possible even when protective headgear is worn.
- Torn ligaments– An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear is a knee injury especially common in basketball where there are constant jerk movements.
- Torn tendons– An Achilles tendon tear is a common injury in sports that involve a lot of running.
- Broken Bones– Fractured arms and legs are especially common in contact sports.
- Overheating and Heatstroke– Participants in particularly strenuous sports played outdoors, like football and soccer, are more prone to overheating.
If an athlete is hurt due to the carelessness of an event organizer, school, coach, property owner, or another player, the victim could be owed compensation. Be sure to contact an experienced athletic injury attorney to discuss the injury, how it happened, and what your legal options are.
Who is Liable for a Sports-Related Injury?
When you choose to play a sport, there are many inherent risks involved. For instance, you are aware that, upon signing up to play football, you are subjecting yourself to repetitive tackling, which can have serious effects on the head, brain, spinal cord, and bones. When you sign up for hockey, you are aware of the risk to your face and teeth, which can be injured by a puck or another player. Just the act of participating in activities with known risks shows that you have accepted the risks involved, and it is implied that you won’t hold others legally responsible for injuries sustained.
However, there may be a time when the action or inaction of a player, coach, referee, or other game participant or supervisor will qualify as negligence, entitling you to compensation for your injuries.
Sports-related negligence cases commonly involve:
- School Districts
- Athletic Trainers
- Team Owners
- Other Players
Another player likely won’t be found to be negligent when they break a rule or commit some type of foul. You must prove that the player had the intent to cause an injury to you or a severe indifference, otherwise known as recklessness, as to whether you were injured or not.
The organization, such as a school district, may be held liable where it failed to provide adequate and safe facilities or the correct equipment. A field that has not been regularly tended to can result in hurt ankles and broken bones. Defective equipment can break and cause serious injury to the body, mainly when the equipment is meant to be protective.
Coaches are commonly involved in negligence cases regarding athletic injuries. Typically, the injury is found to have occurred as a result of the coach’s lack of supervision. The duty to supervise athletes is one of the most fundamental and important duties owed by coaches. Depending on many different circumstances, such as the sport played and the experience and skill of the athletes participating, a reasonable amount of care must be exercised by coaches for the protection of those participating in the sport.
What if I Signed a Liability Waiver?
Some teams and organizations require prospective participants to sign what is known as a liability waiver. This releases the organization and its coaches from liability if the participant is injured.
It is important to remember that just because you were required to sign the waiver before your participation in a sport, a negligence claim is not discredited. If your injury is the direct result of negligence on the part of a coach or the organization, the liability waiver will not release the coach or organization from the duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care. For example, regardless of a liability waiver, organizations and coaches still have a duty to provide safe facilities and properly-working equipment. Liability for lack of such is not released upon the signing of a liability waiver.
There may also be an instance where a liability waiver is too vague. A vague waiver releasing an organization and its coaches from all liability may be found to be insufficient to have any legal standing.
How do I Prove Liability in a Negligence Case?
As with any negligence case, there must exist a duty on the part of the defendant. You must show that the coach, organization, player, or other party had a duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances present when the injury occurred.
You must prove that the responsible party breached that duty by acting in a way that did not rise to the necessary level of care. You must then prove that the allegedly negligent person’s breach was the direct and proximate cause of your injury. In other words, the injury would not have occurred had the defendant not acted in a certain way and that such an injury was a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct. Finally, you must prove damages as a result of the negligence.
Contact a Maryland Sports Injury Lawyer Today
With worry-free legal help, you have nothing to lose by calling the experienced and skilled attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO. We are available 24/7 so that we may answer your questions, hear your story regarding your injury, and help you determine the best route toward recovering compensation for your injury. We will fight for you every step of the way.
If you’ve been injured in a sports-related accident, and you are unsure if the injury was the result of another person’s negligence, do not hesitate to call the offices of CHASENBOSCOLO. We have offices in Hyattsville, Waldorf, and Greenbelt, as well as in Falls Church, Virginia. You can reach us by calling (301) 220-0050 or by filling out an online contact form.