Many parents with physically active children want to support that energy by placing them in activities such as sports. As sports have been found to improve youth development and academic achievement, there is also a risk of sports injury, including broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
To minimize liability, school districts and sports teams often require parents to sign a waiver or consent form. Generally, these waivers state the school district, sports team, or body hosting the sports activity is not liable for any injuries, medical expenses, or other damages related to the sports activity.
Most parents believe these waivers are absolute and absolve the other party from any liability or fault in the event of injury. However, this is not always the case. There are instances in which the waiver does not apply or does not completely limit liability.
If your child has been injured which playing sports anywhere in Chester County, Pennsylvania, including the 12 public school districts in the area, which include Avon Grove, Coatesville Area, Downingtown Area, Great Valley, Kennett Consolidated, Octorara Area, Owen J. Roberts, Oxford Area, Phoenixville Area, Tredyffrin/Easttown, Unionville-Chadds Ford, or West Chester Area, it is imperative to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
What are Common Causes and Types of Sports Injuries in Pennsylvania?
Children and young adults throughout Pennsylvania and Chester County participate in a variety of sport activities, including football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and cheerleading.
Unfortunately, every year young athletes are affected by injuries, some of which may have long-term consequences. Some causes of physical injuries would include but are not limited to:
- Negligent Medical Care
- Defective and/or Dangerous Equipment
- Inadequate Equipment
- Improper Training
- Negligent Supervision
- Overuse injuries and/or Dangerous Workloads
- Prior physical injuries/Re-injury
Some of the most common types of sports injuries in Chester County, include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries, which include quadriplegia and paraplegia
- Head Injuries, which include concussions
- Sprains and Torn ligaments.
According to the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania (BIAP), approximately 156,000 concussions occur in Pennsylvania. Most of those concussions occurred during high contact sports, with more than 60 percent occurring during high school football practices and games.
Statistics also show over 1.4 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries of TBIs each year. Children between the ages of 0 to 14 years and teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19 years are at the highest risks for TBIs.
According to the Penn State Center for Sports Surface Research, approximately 22 or more injuries occur each day by high school and college athletes.
If your child was injured playing sports in Avon Grove, Coatesville or Downington school districts in Chester County, please contact Ciccarelli personal injury attorneys for a fee case evaluation.
In Chester, Lancaster, Berks and surrounding counties, parents have the ability to excuse the school district, sports team, or other party of legal liability, including waiving the right to a lawsuit, by signing a properly executed waiver.
If the waiver is accurately worded, listed clearly on the document, complete with the signature against who it would be used, then it will usually be valid, even in the case of negligence.
Essentially, a waiver must be in the following form:
- The waiver must be in writing;
- The waiver must be clearly worded and clearly express the intent to limit all legal liability;
- The waiver must clearly list the types of risks, including serious injury or death;
- Waiver must be prominently displayed in the document. The waiver cannot be in the fine print or otherwise hidden;
- The waiver must be signed by the person excusing liability; and
- The waiver cannot violate any Federal or State laws or public policy.
However, no waiver or permission slip will be able to sign away a child or parent’s right to sue in cases of extreme or gross negligence. Gross negligence is behavior that is so careless that it does not come near to the duty of care that was called for.
An example could be, if a child breaks his leg during a soccer game and his coaches pressure he/she to continue playing without pursuing medical attention, this coach most likely would have committed gross negligence.
Figuring out whether or not a lawsuit is necessary or possible after a waiver has been signed can be a complex issue. Ciccarelli Personal Injury attorneys welcome your calls and will review your child’s case, claim and advise you. Our southeastern Pennsylvania attorneys are more than qualified to help you evaluate your case and get the best results you wish for.
Ciccarelli Law Offices has defended many personal injury individuals throughout West Chester, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Kennett Square, Radnor, Plymouth Square, Malvern, and the surrounding area.
Contact the West Chester personal injury attorneys of Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 719-3190 for a free, confidential consultation. Place your case in good hands at Ciccarelli Law Office.