Indiana Law – Sports Injuries

In the past month we have blogged about a series posts covering important personal injury information for Spring/Summer activities. In today’s post, we will give a brief overview of current Indiana sports law.

A preliminary report released this month released by USA Football and conducted by Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, based out of Indianapolis, examined the safety of youth tackle football and the long and short term injuries associated with play. 706735__transfer_.jpg

In America today, 2.8 million children (age 6-14) play in an organized tackle football league. The study involved nearly 2,000 athletes in 10 football leagues spanning six states, although the findings are not complete as the study is expected to span another whole year.

The report found that nearly 10% of youth athletes suffered an injury. Approximately two-thirds of those injuries were minor enough that the athlete could return to the field that same day. No catastrophic head or neck injuries were reported but almost 4% suffered a concussion.

Lawsuits stemming from Sports Injuries
Sports related injuries fall into a field of negligence in which “assumption of risk” becomes a deciding factor. Assumption of risk is not always cut-and-dry but rather involves what the injured party knew or expected or should have expected before entering the activity and whether the activity was foreseeable. Severe head/brain injuries can have long unforeseen damages associated with them. The personal injury suit will likely require expert witness testimony to predict the long term costs and damages associated with such injuries.

Indiana law, as of 2012, requires any student athlete who is suspected to have sustained a head injury or possible concussion to be removed from all play until the athlete is evaluated by a trained health care provider.

The NHL and player’s union may now face liability in a wrongful death suit brought on behalf of Derek Boogaard for the brain injuries he suffered during his hockey career and the subsequent narcotics addiction allegedly caused by his condition.

Boogaard died in 2011 at the age of 28 from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose while recovering from a concussion. Upon posthumous examination, it was found he had suffered from Stage II Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, allegedly caused by the repeated concussions endured during his career 65+ fights. Studies have linked repeated traumatic brain injuries, like those suffered in contact sports, to long term degenerative diseases. According to the suit, during the 2008-2009 season, over 1,000 prescription drugs were given to Boogaard by NHL physicians and staff.

The suit relies on the wanton disregard by the NHL and player’s union for the known risks associated with Boogaard’s injuries and the obvious foreseeable dangers of Boogaard’s prescription habits.

The Indiana personal injury attorneys at Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson are committed to effective and knowledgeable representation for those who have suffered a personal injury. Whether you, a loved one, or a minor was hurt as a result of a sports or recreational activity, you may have a claim for compensation. Personal injury cases involving recreational activities often face challenges with assumption of risk challenges. Our attorneys have experience for all steps of the personal injury suit process, from evidence discovery and damage calculation, insurance claims, legal filing to document preparation, claims defense settlement negotiation and litigation. Contact us for a no-charge confidential consultation with an attorney at Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson. Please call our law office at (888) 532-7766 or contact us online.

Related posts:
College Claims to be Decided by Indiana Supreme Court April 11, 2013
Bicycling in Indiana – A Rider’s Legal Guide April 4, 2013