If my child suffers a brain injury from football, can I sue?

February 12, 2021
brain injury

You hope that it would never happen to where your child suffers a debilitating brain injury from playing football. Over 3.5 million children suffer sports-related injuries each year, and many of these injuries require medical attention. Football has a reputation for concussions because of it being a full-body contact sport. It ranks as the most dangerous sport, according to a study published in the health journal Pediatrics. 

Mandatory Waiver Signed to Participate 

Hiring Seattle brain injury lawyers won’t help in most cases with injuries sustained from football because of how you had to sign a waiver before your child could participate. This condition waives your legal rights to file a lawsuit if your child suffers an injury. You should understand more about the waiver, however. Brain injury lawyers in Seattle could assist you if the risks weren’t related to the sport. The waiver only covers “ordinary negligence.” This means that you can’t sue for injuries that happen as an ordinary risk in the sport, but you could still file a lawsuit if it wasn’t related to that. 

What Classifies as Inherent Risk? 

Let’s have a look at what classifies as inherent risks so that we can understand the circumstances better. Anything that happens ordinarily from the sport won’t provide you with grounds for a lawsuit. For example, your child had a concussion after the whistle blew, and another player tackled him. That falls under inherent risk. Another example is if your child collided with other players and had a concussion. This doesn’t qualify as a right for a lawsuit. Speaking with brain injury attorneys in Seattle can help you to determine the circumstances better and if you have a right to file a lawsuit. 

When Does a School Face Liability? 

Anything, where the risks weren’t inherent to the sport, could classify as a possible liability. Speak with sports injury attorneys in Seattle to understand it better. When the activity led to a lawsuit and the risk wasn’t inherent to the sport, you could have a case. 

In 2013, one Colorado jury awarded $11.5 million after Rhett Ridolfi, a teenager, sustained a brain injury from a concussion during football practice. His parents filed a lawsuit against school administrators, the coaches, and the helmet company Riddell after they failed to put an adequate warning label. Ridolfi didn’t receive immediate medical attention from his concussion and sustained paralysis on his left side because of it. Ridolfi isn’t alone as far as lawsuits go for football. 

A New York jury awarded $8 million to Blake Hunt after improper supervision led to him shattering the C5 vertebrae in his neck. A running back’s knee snapped his head backward during a football scrimmage, and injury sustained left Hunt paralyzed from the waist down. While this wasn’t a head injury, this should give you an idea of when to speak with Seattle sports injury lawyers. In this case, the injury happened because of improper supervision, and they didn’t have qualified medical personnel to assist. 

If your child has suffered a brain injury because of negligence outside of inherent risks, speak with Albert Law PLLC. We are brain injury lawyers in Seattle, and we may be able to help. Ignoring the state-mandated safety protocol is another way that schools and sports organizations have faced lawsuits. The mandates exist because people have suffered severe injuries when immediate medical attention wasn’t administered. You can’t simply shrug off injuries in football. You have to take them seriously because what appears to be a minor concussion can lead to serious and lasting consequences. An injury that was foreseeable or preventable could be cause for a lawsuit against a school or sports organization, even if you signed a waiver.