Who Can Be Held Liable for a Sports Injury? 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Sports Injury? 

Getting injured during a sport or recreational activity is an unfortunate fact of life. While some sports injuries are unavoidable, others occur due to the negligence or recklessness of another party. If you’ve been injured while participating in a sport, it’s important to understand who can be held liable for that injury and what legal recourse you may have.

Potential Parties That Could Be Liable For Sports Injury

If you’ve been injured in a sports accident, the following are the most common parties that may be responsible:

Coaches and Organizations

If you sustain an injury due to unsafe practices, inadequate training, or insufficient supervision from your coach, you may have the option of filing a personal injury claim against them.

For example, if your coach encourages you to continue playing after sustaining an injury and being told by medical staff that it wasn’t safe to play, they could be held liable if that injury worsens as a result.

Other Players

In some cases, another player may be responsible for your sports-related injuries. This could include instances where someone was overly aggressive or reckless with their play style or when someone purposely caused harm through malicious intent.


Faulty equipment can also lead to serious sports-related injuries. In these cases, the manufacturer would likely be held responsible for any damage resulting from their product defect.

Medical Professionals

If you seek treatment from a medical professional for your sports injury and receive substandard care leading to further damage or complications, then that medical professional may be held liable for any additional losses suffered as a result of their negligence.

For this type of claim to succeed, evidence must show that the medical professional’s negligence was the cause of your worsening injuries.

Proving Negligence in a California Sports Injury

If you have suffered a sports injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to sue and receive compensation. To determine whether someone is liable for your injury, you must establish the following elements:

Establishing the Duty of Care

The first element in proving negligence is to establish the defendant’s duty of care towards you. In most situations, the defendant owes you a duty to exercise reasonable care or ordinary care. This means they had an obligation to act as another person would reasonably act under similar circumstances. For instance, a coach has a duty of care to not endanger their players.

Breach of Duty

The next step is to prove that the defendant breached that duty. If another player was displaying signs of suffering a concussion during a football game, it would likely be a breach of duty for the coach to encourage them to continue playing without being evaluated by medical personnel first.


The third element needed for negligence is causation – did the breach directly cause your injury? For instance, if you were tackled after going back into the game with a head injury and suffered more severe, long-term injuries, your coach could be liable.


Finally, you must prove that you suffered losses. This most often includes medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you need help after a sports injury or any other type of injury claim, our Fresno personal injury lawyers here to help. Contact Roberts & Spiegel Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

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