Community sports leagues are a great way to stay fit and meet new people, both for kids and adults. Parents enlist their children in organized sports to teach them about teamwork, sportsmanship, and getting along with others, and adults often join after-work leagues as a means of including social activity in their busy work weeks. For all the benefits of participating in organized sports, however, there are risks involved; if you suffer a serious injury you should immediately contact an Oakville personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.
The likelihood of you – or your kids – suffering a particular injury depends on the activity you’re participating in. Concussions, for example, are quite common among football and hockey players, to the point where both major professional leagues, the NFL and NHL, are facing class-action lawsuits from former players. Lawsuits related to these injuries are becoming more common among amateur athletes as well, and your Oakville personal injury lawyer will likely have a sophisticated understanding of their nuances.
Concussions are a form of brain injury, and are particularly damaging in young people. Last year, the Ontario legislature passed Rowan’s Law, a bill aimed at curbing the prevalence of concussions among young athletes. The law, named for Rowan Stringer, an Ottawa-area high school rugby player who died after sustaining multiple concussions in a short span, aims to improve awareness and understanding of the injury.
Other sports and activities, from basketball to swimming to kickball to skiing, each present their own unique injury risks, and organizers or these activities have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of participants.
Community sports and recreational organizations generally require individuals to sign waivers as a pre-condition of participation. These contractual clauses are specifically designed to prevent participants from initiating legal action against the league. In addition to sports leagues, they can be found at water parks, rock-climbing gyms, bungee jumping sites, and any venues that host high-risk activities.
While these waivers likely succeed in discouraging injury victims from launching personal injury lawsuits, Ontario’s courts do not generally recognize and enforce these waivers in situations where activity organizers have not taken reasonable steps to protect participants.
Individuals assume a heightened risk of injury when they join sports leagues, and as such, Ontario’s courts do not mandate that either leagues or athletic facilities prevent all injuries. However, if an organization or facility neglects to take reasonable actions to prevent injury, they make themselves vulnerable to lawsuits.
As such, you may be entitled to compensation for you injuries regardless of whether you’ve signed a waiver. Talking to an Oakville personal injury lawyer can help you better understand your rights and most prudent steps forward.
If you or a member of your family has suffered an injury while participating in an organized sports league, contact Will Davidson LLP today. Injuries involving waivers are often complicated, and an Oakville personal injury lawyer can help advise you on your best actions to take.