There is a certain degree of risk in all sports that is consented to. However, if you suffer a preventable injury* as a result of negligence or by conduct that falls outside the rules of the game then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
In Ireland popular sports such as Rugby, GAA and Soccer all carry a risk of injury when played within the rules of the game. However, when someone gets injured as a result of behaviour that is not within the rules, such as a punch to the face causing a broken jaw this falls outside the implied consent given by players and may give rise to a claim for compensation.
Sporting injuries can also happen as a result of faulty equipment or negligent instructions. For example, if you are in the gym and suffer injury because of poor advice from a fitness instructor or using badly maintained equipment then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Our personal injury solicitors have vast experience in dealing with sports injury claims and will be able to explain the claims process to you in a way that is easy to understand. The claims process can vary but the general format that is adopted is as follows:
1. Initial Consultation – If you have been injured as a result of negligence in a sporting context you will first meet with one of our personal injury solicitors who will take your instructions on the circumstances of the injury. We will ask you to provide as much detail as possible to allow us to start the claims process.
2. Letter of Claim – Your solicitor will then send a letter to the relevant person or organisation setting out our allegations of negligence. They are then obligated to pass this letter on to their insurance company.
3. Medical Evidence – If you have been to the GP or Hospital as a result of the injury, we will obtain those notes and arrange for you to be examined by a specialist medical Consultant. The Consultant will provide a detailed report on your injuries, which will include the likely cause of the injuries and the period of estimated recovery.
4. Decision on Liability – The third-party insurance company will come back to us with their decision on liability within about 3 months from the date the initial letter of claim was sent. If liability is accepted, we will enter into settlement negotiations.
5. Court Proceedings – If liability is denied we will consult with our client and if we conclude that the case is worth pursuing, we will issue court proceedings and attempt to recover damages through the Courts. At this stage we will instruct a Barrister who specialises in personal injury claims and we will work together to build a case prior to your Court hearing. Court proceedings can also be issued in a case where liability has been admitted if we feel the compensation being offered by the insurance company is not sufficient. Our expert solicitors will advise clients on their options, but the final decision will always be made by the client and we will ensure that their wishes are carried out.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.