Recreation and Sports Accidents

Keeping Massachusetts Athletes and Children Safe

Parents who enroll their children in recreation and sports programs have a right to expect that trained instructors and staff will teach their kids the skills necessary to play a sport well and safely, that their kids will be monitored and spotted during practices, games and meets, and that the equipment and facilities will be in good condition.

Every sport and exercise has some risk of injury, but children should not be placed at increased risk of injury:

  • Inadequate staffing
  • Deficient instruction of staff or participants
  • Overcrowding
  • Lack of security
  • Broken equipment
  • Unmaintained gyms, courts or fields
  • Inadequate or incorrect signage or warnings
  • Lack of emergency medical care, equipment or procedures

Similarly, athletes have the right to expect that the indoor and outdoor facilities will be in good repair and safe, that their equipment will function as intended, and that their helmets, masks, guards and pads will provide them with as much protection from injury as possible, and will not cause them injury or make their injuries worse.

 

Recovering Damages Due to Recreation and Sports Accidents

Many facilities have medical payments insurance coverage, but we can prosecute cases for broader damages including:

  • Loss of earning capacity now and in the future
  • Medical bills for necessary treatment and medicine
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Compensation for a spouse and children for injury to their relationship with the injured athlete

Statute of Limitations.

Generally, Massachusetts allows three years for you to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a recreation or sports accident, but the facts of your particular case may result in less time or special notice requirements. Due to the time necessary to properly investigate a case before filing suit, and the need to preserve evidence, you should retain an attorney immediately upon suspecting the basis for a negligence claim.

 

How We Use Evidence to Win Recreation and Sports Accident Cases

From the inception of a case, we consider the types of "demonstrative evidence" that will bring alive key pieces of evidence and help a jury understand your case:

  • Videotapes showing the actual accident sequence or accident reenactments
  • Still photography, sometimes taken from videotapes of the accident sequence
  • Composite photographs of sports complexes, gymnasia, and recreational facilities
  • Digitally enhanced architectural blueprints that focus on areas where an accident happened
  • Digitally enhanced photographs showing accident prevention equipment that should have been used, such as protective mats and signage
  • Vintage sports memorabilia, advertising and literature to show longstanding knowledge of the risk of injury, availability of protective equipment, and proper coaching techniques
  • Instructional videotapes to show knowledge of the risk of injury and proper coaching and spotting practices

We also use digital technology to create “demonstrative evidence” to explain our client’s injuries and rehabilitation:

  • Color enhanced CT scans, MRIs or x-rays that show our client’s injuries
  • Case specific medical illustrations showing pertinent anatomy or steps in a surgical procedure
  • Medical calendars, storyboards and timelines summarizing our client’s medical treatment

 

Results in Recreation and Sports Accident Cases

We have over 20 years experience obtaining justice for our clients in recreation and sports accident cases:

  • $1.6 million recovery for college student who suffered spinal injury from sliding into brick wall in prep school’s vintage gymnasium with lack of adequate run-out space See Premises Liability
  • $1.5 million recovery against bankrupt hockey helmet manufacturer for high school student who suffered quadriplegia due to defective helmet See Products Liability
  • $2.3 million settlement for a high school athlete whose leg was amputated after substandard surgical repair of a major artery following a sports accident; See Medical Malpractice and Other Professional Malpractice
  • $540,000 recovery in wrongful death case for siblings of high school student who drowned in pool at non-profit facility